The ASAP team, in conjunction with a select few invited industry experts, has just emerged from a two-day meeting to set strategy and dissect the aims and future plans – indeed, the very reason for being – for the Association.

Says James Foice, CEO: “We sat down to this process on the back of several years of continual growth and the development of new products and services, to look back at our five-year plan and how we were best going to deliver it.

“And we came out of it understanding that so much of what we do, doesn’t actually help us deliver our primary objective.

“We discussed everything we’ve been doing with the Global Alliance – which is still going to be huge and will continue to be a major focus – and the plans we have for launching ASAP chapters around the world, along with all the other things on the plan. And then we realised that our purpose, the thing can best achieve for our Members, can be summed up incredibly simply.

“The bottom line is, we exist, purely and simply, to ensure that the buyer selects our ASAP Members over Non-Members.

“Everything else we do adds to this, supports it, and makes it easier to achieve. But this must be the focus – and it is suddenly within reach.”

James explains how they came to this realisation.

“We had so many things in the plan, all very laudable and definitely achievable; but not all at once, and not considering the minimal resource at our disposal.

“We’re a small team, all very effective, entrepreneurial, experienced, but still a small team. And we were looking to take on in one go the whole hospitality industry, forcing consumers and travel buyers and government forces and pretty much the whole world to sit up and take notice. Trying to define the terminology and set standards to be followed across an industry that’s far wider than our own Association, and which straddles continents and languages and cultures. And at the same time, tackle threats from different parts of the sector that are also growing and evolving, in a space that, in truth, can accommodate all of us.

“Instead, by focusing on the ways we can actually have an influence, right now, and into the future, we are going to become far more effective.

“And as our quality Membership continues to grow and our reach widens, we will, in time, be able to have a bigger influence on the wider sector.”

James continues: “Over the next month we will be sharing directly with Members and then with those across the hospitality industry, the ways we will be doing this.

“Things like more effective communications, and an uplift in PR, becoming more visible across the sector. By increasing our own internal resources more effectively; by forming alliances with more organisations; by reviewing and reforming some of our Membership offerings; by holding events and webinars and live-streamed breakfast briefings; and by sharing information from experts within our circle; by defining and communicating the new benefits for Members added to the existing ones. By growing the Membership around the world, but, most importantly, by listening to and taking the Members with us as we continue to evolve.

“And as for the Summer Gala Ball and Awards Ceremony – well, that might just be a game-changer!”

James finishes, “As a team, we’re very, very excited. It’s as though a weight has been lifted and we can suddenly see past all those things-that-need-to-be-done-before-another-thing-can-be-started, and instead the path is clear.

“Now we just need to make sure our members will support us in our aspirations and then we can make this happen together.

“Our September Member Business Meeting is going to be a very significant one, as we need our members’ help now more than ever before. Together, we can truly make a difference; and we will, over the coming few years.

“So, here’s to a great, new, refreshed, redefined start. The team and I very much look forward to taking you with us, on this journey!”