Ed Balls announced as Summit keynote speaker

Ed Balls will be the keynote speaker at the hospitality and tourism industry’s expanded annual summit which is being held on June 6, just two days before the general election. Politician – and Strictly dancer - Ed will give delegates his unique insight into what is a historic election campaign.

The political scene will be set by award winning commentator Steve Richards, who presents Radio 4’s A Week in Politics. He will bring the Summit stories and gossip from the campaign trail, take the audience behind the headlines, and analyse the situation.

Richards, who was the chief political columnist at The Independent, said: “Curbs on EU immigration, business rate rises, the threat from home-sharing platforms – all these issues facing hospitality have a political dimension. I look forward to discussing it all at the Summit. And we will have some fun too.”

This year’s event is being held in London on June 6 at The Grand Connaught Rooms.

The Summit is four Summits in one, each concentrating on a different part of the industry. The first concerns restaurants and how eating habits are changing. The second turns the spotlight on aviation and how connectivity is vital to the hospitality sector. The third looks into distribution and technology and how booking is changing and how the rise of Online Travel Agencies is changing the game. And the fourth opens the door to Serviced Apartments and aparthotels and their potential threat to traditional hotels.

The event is a collaboration between organisations and their events including The British Hospitality Association Summit, the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), Serviced Apartment Summit, the Hotel Distribution Event, AviaDev and the Airport Operators Association.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “We make no apology about introducing a political theme to our Summit but along with that we have a fantastic line up of topics and speakers this year which should be of interest to many sectors of our industry. Coupled with the timing of the election and the launch of the BHA’s own manifesto for politicians of all parties, the day promises to be one not to miss.”

For the full itinerary, list of speakers - and how to book your ticket - see http://www.summit.org.uk/

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