The Rt Hon. the Viscount Thurso FIH MI appointed IoH President 2023

The IoH has appointed The Rt Hon. the Viscount Thurso FIH MI as its President from 1 January 2023.

The news follows last week’s announcement that the IoH’s current President, Surinder Arora FIH, Founder and Chairman of the Arora Hotel Group, is retiring on 31 December 2022, after 3 years in the role.

With an impressive background in the hospitality industry, Lord Thurso FIH MI was Managing Director of the Savoy Group’s Lancaster 5 Star Hotel in Paris at the age of 27 before progressing to lead a number of hospitality businesses including East Sussex National Golf Course, Champneys and Cliveden, which under his leadership, became the UK’s highest rated hotels.

He has served as a non-executive member on a number of public company boards and is Chairman of the family company in Caithness. In 2016 he was appointed Chair of Visit Scotland and serves as an Ex-Officio Board Member of Visit Britain. He was awarded a ‘Catey’ for services to Tourism in 2003, is President of the Tourism Society, a Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality and a Master Innholder.

He served in the House of Lords as a hereditary peer until 1999, was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross until 2015 and returned to the House of Lords in 2016.

Confirming the appointment, Robert Richardson FIH MI said: “I am thrilled to welcome Lord Thurso FIH MI as our new IoH President. As the Institute steps closer to realising its vision of achieving Chartered Status, I am absolutely delighted and honoured that Lord Thurso will join us as our figurehead. His experience and commitment to the IoH and the hospitality industry, I’m sure, will help us achieve our formidable goals in the coming years.”

Commenting on his role, Lord Thurso FIH MI said: “As a member of the IoH throughout my professional life, and as a Fellow and past Patron, I am honoured and excited to have been asked to become President. Hospitality faces many challenges but the core of what we do – looking after people and serving guests professionally - remains as relevant today as it has always been. Professionals need a strong body to represent them and that is exactly what the IoH does.”

The Institute, as the only professional body for the global hospitality industry, is set to have a busy 2023, celebrating its 85th anniversary and applying to the UK Privy Council and ultimately, HM King Charles III, for Chartered Status in quarter one.

The path toward Chartered Status has already taken the IoH 18 months of detailed preparation.

As the global professional body for the hospitality industry for over eight decades, it would be a natural progression, as well as a significant achievement for the IoH and the industry, to achieve Chartered Status recognition.

With hospitality being the 4th largest employer in the UK, representing 10% of all employment and generating over £120bn in UK revenue, the sector continues to be overlooked as a ‘serious’ economic generator and long-term career option.

Critically, attaining Chartered Status would elevate the Institute and the hospitality industry to a much-needed ‘professional’ platform, providing the industry with status and proving to parents, educationalists, and new and existing talent, that a clearly defined, credible and professional career pathway exists. Helping to establish hospitality as a professional career choice for existing and future generations.