Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association talks about the industry impact post-Brexit vote:
“The UK hospitality and tourism business remains open to welcome visitors from home and abroad. Most people will have already made their holiday plans before the Brexit vote but in the mid-term the fall in value of the pound should encourage more foreign tourists, and those already here may spend more.
"But we cannot, and do not want to, rely on currency fluctuations, or trouble abroad, to bolster our home tourism economy which is worth £127 billion. Shockingly, the UK’s Tourism VAT is twice the European average rate. We need to address this so that we compete on an equal footing. It is something the government could do at a stroke.
“A second industry priority post-Brexit is to address the shortage of chefs in the UK. This was already an acute problem for restaurants and other hospitality business before the Brexit vote - with a predicted shortage of eleven thousand by 2020. The worry is that the situation may get worse and the BHA sees this as a key issue for upcoming EU negotiations.
“The BHA is already involved in round table discussions with the Government to ensure that the hospitality industry, so vital to the UK economy, can access the skilled staff it needs to grow.”