The Bristol Hoteliers Association has appointed a new chairman.
Imran Ali, who is general manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Bristol, has now taken over as chairman from Mark Payne who has held the position for the last year.
Joining Imran will be Graeme Barclay, general manager of the Mercure Holland House, as vice chairman and Greg Csikos, general manager of Hampton by Hilton, Bristol as treasurer.
The non-profit organisation, which has over 30 members, provides a forum where hotel managers highlight and discuss issues affecting their business and develop solutions in the best interests of all parties concerned.
As well as lobbying both the city council and national Government, Imran, along with his executive committee, will look at ways in which Bristol can attract more tourism and business visitors.
One of the more pressing issues Imran will look to tackle is the ongoing debate about if the new arena will get built and if so where, particularly with Cardiff and now Swansea pressing on with new arenas of their own.
Imran said: “I’d like to thank Mark for all his hard work and for reforming the association which previously existed in the early 2000s.
“With Greater Bristol possessing over 40 hotels and 4,000 rooms, maintaining high level occupancy is key to each venue’s on-going success but also that of the city’s overall economy and prosperity.
“Whether it’s the high-end or budget venue, collectively all the hotels located in Greater Bristol play a major role in the prosperity of the city and surrounding area.
“They employ thousands of people, use many local suppliers and act as a shop window when people and businesses are looking for somewhere to stay or host an event.
“For all members, the most pressing decision is if and where the arena will be located. With Cardiff announcing it will be building a brand new arena and now Swansea doing the same, Bristol’s city leaders have to get on with it.
“It’s not just the hotels that will benefit. There will be significant overspill into restaurants, bars and all the great attractions of Bristol. The city’s retailers should also see a benefit with people from outside the city staying over and spending in the great variety of shops.
“Otherwise we’ll be left behind for the foreseeable future and the supplementary spend it is likely to bring in will be lost.”