Hotel industry hits back at Hodge comments

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

The British Hospitality Association accuses Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge of being blind to massive upgrade of the UKs hotels following her comments about their worrying quality

The British Hospitality Association has hit back at negative comments from Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge about the state of UK hotels. 

In an interview with Holiday Which? magazine, Hodge said UK hotels were expensive and she worried about the quality before adding that only half of UK hotel accommodation is kite-marked and has an AA star rating.

But a spokesman for the BHA accused the minister of overlooking the fact that the UK hotel industry has been investing £3bn to £5bn in new hotels and refurbishments every year for the past five years.

"In an industry that comprises nearly 50,000 hotels and guest houses, the majority independently owned and operated, there are inevitably some premises that need further refurbishment, but the industry is upgrading massively. This just not does not seem to be recognised by government," he said. 

The BHA said the government had made matters worse by removing tax incentives designed to encourage investment and raise standards. 

"Taking away the Hotel Buildings Allowances and other tax benefits in the last Budget, will certainly not help encourage hoteliers to invest more," he said

"Nor does the high rate of VAT enable UK hotels to be competitive with hotels on the continent where in France, for example, VAT is 5.5 per cent." 



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