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PoB plaqueIt was a heart stopping moment when I saw this image and realised how long I’ve been involved in hotel marketing. It shows the stone gatepost at the entrance to Ockenden Manor in Sussex, adorned by an original bronze Johansens plaque and their splendid Pride of Britain one. These two organisations have been my life for just over 12 and 17 years respectively – the best part of 30 years altogether.

As well as demonstrating my rather limited personal horizons, the picture depicts two organisations that have stood the test of time in a very fast moving sector. That both remain relevant in the age of online travel agents and Tripadvisor is a tribute to all concerned, especially when you consider how many “competitors” have fallen by the wayside (Egon Ronay, RAC guides, Distinguished Hotels and others).

Will Pride of Britain still be around in another 30 years? I don’t see why not, so long as we continue to reinvent ourselves and are driven by the needs of the hoteliers we serve. Of course, I may very well be under a stone myself by then!