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BHA restructures in bid to raise hospitality industry’s influence on Goverment

By Luke Nicholls , 14-May-2012
Last updated on 14-May-2012 at 12:13 GMT

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has restructured its organisation, with the creation of a Board of Directors to replace the former BHA Council and National Executive. 

The new Board comprises 17 executives from various hospitality business, including Stephen McCall, managing director of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG); Simon Vincent, area president of Europe for Hilton; and Patrick Dempsey, managing director of Whitbread.

It is chaired by Alan Parker, who says the original structure ‘had become increasingly complex and unwieldy’.  

“The new BHA structure will enhance the association’s ability to deliver on its plan and at the same time, better serve its members during these challenging times,” said Parker, who is also director of the Jumeirah Group. “I am very honoured to be asked to be the first chairman of the Board.

“Generating eight per cent of total employment, hospitality is already the UK’s fifth biggest industry. As the engine of tourism and other sectors which rely on a dynamic hospitality industry, the potential for further job creation, export earnings and investment is yet to be fully tapped.

“At the end of 2010, the BHA adopted a new business plan committed to working with industry and government to unlock the hospitality industry’s full potential – a critical effort at a time when jobs are most needed in Britain.

Forceful, coherent, coordinated

The BHA’s chief executive Ufi Ibrahim revealed her delight at the new constitution being overwhelmingly approved by the BHA membership.

“The BHA now has the right foundations to champion the interests of our members – and the 2.44 million jobs generated through our industry – in a forceful, coherent and coordinated way, to Government and policy-makers in the UK, the EU and internationally”, she said,

“Our new structure will better enable us to build on the core strengths and capabilities of the association; sharpen our effectiveness; raise the industry’s influence on Government and policy-makers, and unite all hospitality businesses to ensure a common voice for the industry.”

Thomas Dubaere, managing director of Accor, is among the 17 Boad members. He concluded: “Hospitality is  one of the UK’s leading industries with an integral role in the development and growth of the UK economy. I am honoured to join the BHA Board of Directors, shaping and driving this valuable industry.

“Accor join the BHA in the ambition to create jobs, exciting career opportunities and support UK tourism through a sustainable approach to hospitality.”

Meanwhile, last week’s British Institute of Innkeeping Annual General Meeting saw its members vote overwhelmingly in favour of the restructuring of their council, which will see it reduced from 36 members to 16 in a bid to save money.

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