Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, the leading trade body, said:
“The Government is keen on Britain being seen to be open to and for business but we don’t think that it recognises the vital part that the hospitality and tourism industry plays in making this happen.
The Government’s Industrial Strategy is dreadfully light on what it intends to do to encourage investment and jobs in the UK’s fourth largest industry which employs 4.5 million people nationwide and has the ability to help redistribute wealth around the regions.
We are responsible for 10 per cent of GDP and for one in five of all jobs created in the last parliament and are a major exporter. We are proof that industry is not just about STEM and manufacturing.
Serving others is a skill in itself and we welcome any moves to increase training and encourage UK residents to see hospitality as a career.
We welcome the plan for a new convention centre in Blackpool and other infrastructure schemes but the cries for help from other struggling coastal communities and other hospitality and tourism businesses need to be heeded too.
The industry is being hit by a treble whammy of increased costs, the potential loss of EU labour and an unfair tax system which benefits rival European countries.
Cutting Tourism VAT and easing the business rates burden are just two ways of helping.
The BHA will lead an industry response to the consultation and set out the sector deal that would serve our industry, society and the economy.