TWO new figures have taken the reigns of York's hospitality body to give the sector a louder voice in the city.

Martin Bradnam is the new chairman of the Hospitality Association York (HAY), with Sarah Czarnecki supporting him as deputy chair.

They step into the shoes of Philip Bolson, former general manager of The Grand, York, who has taken up a senior post within hospitality in Cumbria.

HAY was launched in recent years, replacing the former York Hoteliers Association, to give members a new momentum. It currently has 17 members, all hotels of various sizes, and is represented on different bodies in York, such as the tourism advisory board, chamber of commerce, Indie York, York BID, and My City Centre.

Martin said: "York has a lot of associations and bodies; it is about being able to get involved in those and support them."

Sarah, strategic partner at Gray's Court in York, added: "We are working together as a cohesive voice. We want to share best practice, ideas and work to support each other and have a voice for hospitality and the hotel business in York."

The duo said they were excited about the year ahead and had clear goals to work towards.

Recruitment and attracting future talent to their businesses was high on their priority list, said Martin, general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton, St Maurices Road, York.

He said long-held views of the sectors no longer reflected the many exciting jobs available.

"As a group last year, our key focus was attending aspirational fairs and connecting with colleges to change the perception of our industry.

"We have attended more fairs than ever before to get the message out there to young people and colleges, to attract them into our industry long term. Last year was a major breakthrough."

He said they now wanted to work more closely with colleges in York, Selby and Scarborough.

Another aim is to build on the success of HAY's hospitality conference, which was held as part of York Business Week in 2019 and hailed a huge success.

The duo also wants to build on HAY's brand and website, which was launched last year, to use it as a platform to share its work.

The membership organisation meets regularly and also has two association members from outside the hotel industry to provide an outsider's perspective.