HOSPA will be with two of the hospitality industry’s most influential and dynamic leaders – British Hospitality Association Chief Executive Ufi Ibrahim and citizenM hotels co-partner, founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Levie.
“We are delighted to welcome two such distinguished and influential industry leaders as Ufi Ibrahim and Michael Levie as the subjects for this year’s HOSPACE 2015 interviews,” said HOSPA Chief Executive Carl Weldon. “The interview with Michael will be one of the Conference’s morning highlights; and the afternoon interview with Ufi will, together with our second HOSPA Spotlight session, bring the day’s conference proceedings to a climactic close.
Carl Weldon will be interviewing Ufi Ibrahim, “I will be finding out more,” he said, “about the BHA’s vitally important ‘Cut Tourism VAT’ campaign, currently supported by 135 MPs across all parties, and Ufi’s hope to reach the target of 200 MPs by May 2016. The BHA is focused on highlighting the benefits of the hospitality and tourism industry to the UK economy – recently organising a Westminster Hospitality and Tourism Day, and commissioning an Oxford Economics Study which showed that hospitality is Britain’s fourth largest industry, supporting 14 per cent of total employment and delivering £143bn a year to Britain’s economy. In addition, the sector has created one-in-five of all new jobs since 2010.
“I shall be discussing the findings and implications with Ufi; and the need for government support to fully unleash the industry’s potential – on tourism VAT, on speeding up and simplifying the visa applications process to encourage more visitors from growth markets such as China, deregulation, and creating a fair digital marketplace by banning so-called ‘Rate-Parity’ agreements. The latter prevents hotels from being able to offer the rooms to customers who book directly at a lower rate, or offer any benefits for booking directly. The argument is that ‘Rate-Parity’ limits savings that hotels can then pass on to guests, who decide to book directly with them.”