He has replaced Howard Hastings who is the group’s new chairman following the retirement of the longest serving director, Edward Carson.
James, from Killyclogher, has worked for the company as Operations Director and General Manager of the Europa Hotel.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the new managing director of Hastings Hotels. I’ve been with the company for 25 years and I never envisaged that one day I would be at the helm and it’s an honour to follow in the footsteps of Howard Hastings and the late Sir William Hastings.
"I’m very excited for the group’s future and I would like to thank my fellow directors for entrusting me with the job of driving forward Northern Ireland’s leading collection of hotels.”
James, who is one of the leading figures in Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry, started his career at the age of 15 when he worked at the Knock-na-moe Castle Hotel in Omagh as waiter and barman where his uncle was general manager. He graduated in 1988 from Queen's University Belfast and moved to London to work in an American themed restaurant before returning to Omagh in 1990 to work as Food and Beverage Manager in his family’s business, the Woodlander.
He then gained an MA in Hotel and International Tourism Management from the University of Ulster in 1994 and went to Washington DC to work as Food and Beverage Manager for the Hilton Hotel before returning to Northern Ireland in 1996 when he started his career with Hastings Hotels at the Europa Hotel. During his tenure with the Hastings family, James was able to attend and Graduate from the distinguished Hotel School at the University of Cornell in New York.
Howard Hastings said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, Hastings Hotels is confident that it does so with a very strong team. I am thrilled that we are able to acknowledge and harness the talents of individuals who have come through the ranks to attain a senior status in the company, and on behalf of my fellow directors, I wish James McGinn our very best wishes as he takes on his new role as managing director.”