Torrens University Australia General Manager Business and Hospitality, Jerome Casteigt.

Perspectives from across the accommodation, tourism and hospitality landscape as it relates to the sectors’ recovery were shared and discussed last night in a special online event hosted by Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS).

Hosted by Sky News presenter, Tim Gilbert, the panel included Chef and TV personality, Manu Feildel; Tourism entrepreneur, Grace Brennan and Torrens University’s General Manager of Business and Hospitality, Jerome Casteigt. The industry trio were also joined by NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism & Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.

The event formed part of a series of presentations hosted by Torrens University canvassing expert and high-profile opinion across several fields of study. Personalities set to join online discussions on other fields include Craig Foster, Pip Edwards, Dylan Alcott and Michael Clarke.

Hotel restaurants are embarking on a different, but no less difficult, journey of recovery.

Key topics discussed included major learning points from the pandemic, the impact of last year’s bushfires and COVID-19 on rural communities, employment prospects and the roles of various levels of government and the mainstream media in assisting the recovery.

“I feel the event went really well. It gave different perspectives around the industry – from restaurants to tourism, from regional tourism to business tourism. And I think it gave a wider perspective to all the different dimensions, and how they were differently impacted by COVID-19 but also how to look at all different roads leading to recovery,” Casteigt said.

“All the speakers came from different skillsets, from Manu who understands the restaurant industry to Grace who understands the tourism industry more, and I come from a hotel background. We could give a much wider view about what is ultimately one of the largest industries in Australia and around the world.”

The bushfires and their impact on rural communities was discussed in the online session.

Torrens University Vice President Communications and Public Affairs, Bryce Ives, said the discussion aimed to amplify the issues, debate solutions and impact positive change.

“From the devastation of the bushfires to the widespread impacts of the global pandemic, this year has significantly affected hospitality and tourism. The panellists not only discussed how these two major events of 2020 have impacted the sector and what we can do to address the challenges, they shared their own personal stories with the audience,” he added.

“This conversation is very important because the younger generation is looking at us to start the discussion around recovery and to give them a sense of reality around the state of the industry,” Casteigt added.

“Also to show them that it is not one industry but various dimensions. It is a very wide ranging industry.”