Penrose tells hospitality industry: Talk to tourist boards and focus on skills

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bha chief executive, Tourism, World tourism organization, Bha

John Penrose delivering his speech at the British Hospitality Association's annual lunch yesterday
John Penrose delivering his speech at the British Hospitality Association's annual lunch yesterday
Tourism Minister John Penrose has told members of the hospitality industry to talk to their new local tourist boards about their businesses to ensure they benefit fully when tourists visit the area they are in.

Speaking to 500 members of the industry at the British Hospitality Association's (BHA) annual lunch yesterday, Penrose said although the Government was committed to tourism as a key driver, businesses in the industry needed to be pro-active and promote themselves to their local marketing body now Regional Development Agencies had been phased out and Destination Management Organisations (DMO) introduced.

"If you have a DMO in your area, or just a local tourist board, get involved. They won't work nearly as well if they haven't got you involved," he said.

Penrose also spoke about building skills within the sector and urged companies to share best practice when it came to training and nurturing talent.

He said: "If we are to improve the quality of the industry and the productivity then we have to share knowledge. There's a lot that the Government can do, but there's an awful lot that you can do to ensure that the rest of the industry gets it when it comes to skills."

Government partnership

In her speech at London's Grosvenor House, BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said the association's partnership with the Government was delivering results and she thanked the Tourism Minister for 'championing the industry’s aim for competitiveness in the international and EU market'.

However, She shared Penrose's sentiments on skills within the industry and said the BHA was 'committed' to working with him to help grow employment in the sector.

She said: "Our industry is about jobs. While other sectors are actively automating production and service delivery, the hospitality industry is investing in the training and development of jobs across Britain.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that Government provides the framework we need to continue to grow employment across the UK so that hospitality can create 236,000 new jobs by 2015.”

BHA president change

BHA president David Michels used the event to deliver his last speech to the industry before he hands over the title to former Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker.

Michels, who has been president of the BHA for five years, said: "During my time with Bob Cotton and now with Ufi, the BHA has made much progress and I know it will make more progress as I leave it in good hands."

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1 comment

Speech by John Penrose

Posted by Bernard Ducker,

After the annual lunch last year, which I attended, the industry was full of anticipation that at last we had a Gov't that appeared to understand the contribution that the Hospitality industry made to the nations finances, this was further endorsed by a very positive speech by athe Prime Mininster in August.
What a difference a year makes!! All talk and very little action. I'm not at all impressed by the record so far, very little is being done to enable businesses to grow in the sector, something that we can do relativly quickly, given the right incentives. Oh dear, it looks as if we are going to lose the initiative again, with all thats happening in 2012, we'll miss the boat!

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