Yesterday 150 BHA members took over Parliament for a second year running for the BHA Hospitality and Tourism Day. The annual lobby day saw meetings with over 65 Members of Parliament from all political parties.
The BHA announced four policy priorities for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry with direct asks to the Government:
1. Ensuring a workforce supply which facilitates growth
2. Alleviate the impact of National Living Wage
3. Improve competitiveness and taxation
4. Improve local regeneration and investment, particularly in coastal and rural destinations.
This year’s lobby day was twice as big and included sessions for every part of the UK – London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and numerous individual meetings. BHA members had the opportunity to have substantive conversations with their local MPs on issues which are currently affecting them. New and existing relationships between MPs and the industry were forged.
To celebrate the day a parliamentary reception was held in the afternoon on the Terrace Pavilion. Host of the reception Nigel Huddleston MP discussed the important work the APPG for the Visitor Economy has been conducting over the past year into skills and apprenticeships in the hospitality and tourism industry and the newly launched inquiry into coastal communities. Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA discussed how the industry is responsible for 1 in 5 of all new jobs created in the last parliament and how the industry welcomes over 36 million overseas visitors.
The key speech of the day was made passionately and eloquently by BHA Big Conversation apprentice Chef April Partridge, currently at The Clove Club, who not only stole the hearts of BHA members but also long standing MPs. April used the opportunity to discuss the importance of food education and the crucial role hospitality and tourism plays in the UK. She highlighted how the industry is one of the few that exists purely to make people happy and how lucky she feels to be a part of such a family.