May 7th 2015 may seem light years away from now, but, in campaigning and lobbying terms, the countdown has begun towards the next general election. By June 2014, at the time of our Hospitality & Tourism Summit, the key political parties will each be making the finishing touches to their manifestos.
In the history of UK parliamentary elections, hospitality and tourism has never featured in manifesto. Not once. Now, for the first time, we have a real chance of inclusion.
Our political capital has never been higher. Our industry generated one in four of all new jobs generated between 2010 and 2012. Hospitality is the fourth largest industry in the UK. Delivery of the most successful Olympics of all time – in Hospitality terms – positioned the UK in the top ten world’s most welcoming nations. Not forgetting, of course, the Big Hospitality Conversation which demonstrates our industry’s commitment to tackling youth unemployment across every region of the UK and firmly establishing hospitality on UK plc’s agenda for growth.
The time is now upon us to capitalise on an unprecedented opportunity. We must project our voice over and above other sectors, to rebalance growth beyond London, driving export, investment and jobs across Britain. There are 240,000 hospitality and tourism businesses. If each business rallied around our call for streamlined regulation, policies for growth and a competitive environment for hospitality businesses to thrive, we would be unbeatable.
With this in mind, I write and urge you to support our industry goal and take four simple steps which will make a big difference to the results we want to achieve:
- Tell us your top three to five ‘asks’ – we want to understand your key business priorities and ensure that our campaigning reflects what is important to you.
- If you have not already done so, please contact your MP and local councillor; encourage them to find out more about our industry by spending a day with you and your workforce. More information on ‘Adopting’ Your MP click here. The BHA can provide you with details of how many jobs are in your constituency. For further guidance please call us on 020 7404 7744.
- We are collating a powerful and inspiring collection of narratives which celebrate career paths in our industry to present to Ministers of Tourism and to showcase on our website and in the media. We will also be considering these case studies as part of our brand new documentary with ITN. Please send us your story so that we may inspire the next generation of hospitality leaders with meaningful real life examples of achievement.
- Make your presence felt and network with industry colleagues, MPs and educators from the length and breadth of the UK at the British Hospitality and Tourism Summit on 5 June 2014 at the Novotel London West.
We are counting on you to make a difference to the future of our industry!