Hilton Worldwide's area president Simon Vincent has used the opening ceremonies of two hotels at the National Football Centre to both encourage more visitors to Britain and promote hospitality as a worthwhile career for more young people.
The hotel company, one of the official sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics, opened the 146-bedroom Hilton and the 86-bedroom Hampton by Hilton at St George's Park, the Football Association's new multi-million pound training facility, yesterday.
Dubbed the new home of English football, the National Football Centre is designed to nurture a new generation of sports performers, leading Vincent to reiterate Hilton's own plans to nurture talent.
“Today we open one of the most exciting hotel projects in living memory, one which combines the inspirational visions of both sports and tourism, with a special focus on youth development," he said. "With this and the wider momentum we’re seeing, there is an opportunity to not only encourage more visitors to Britain but inspire more young people into hospitality, which is an incredibly exciting and rewarding industry."
Hilton Worldwide is one of the UK's companies to have signed up to the Government’s Youth Contract, which aims to provide almost half a million new opportunities for 18 to 24 year-olds, including apprenticeships and work experience placements over the next three years.
Following the launch of an apprenticeship academy for chefs in 2010 , Hilton is also planning to launch an apprenticeship scheme to encompass more careers across the sector.
Vincent said the London 2012 Olympics had been a great opportunity for the company, but to ensure the event would leave its legacy on the industry, steps needed to be put into place to ensure talent could carry things forward.
He said: “This summer has been a success for British sport, the tourism industry and Hilton Worldwide. Having operated at near full occupancy in London over the past fortnight, we are ahead of last year for the month of August and confident of a long lasting legacy, provided the right support mechanisms are put in place.”
The two hotels at St George's Park follow the opening of a hotel at Wembley Stadium last month . The hotels include a 500 seat conference room and a 250 seat education zone. Drinking and dining options include The Crossbar and the 66-cover brasserie The Restaurant at St George's Park. Guests staying at both hotels can also use the park's Health Club & Spa.