Announcing the aim to develop a new plan to jointly communicate the thoughts of the hospitality and tourism industries to Government, the BHA said the biggest message from hoteliers gathered at its first summit was that the industry could drive growth and create more jobs if significant barriers were removed.
Talk without action
"At present, there is a lot of Government talk about supporting the industry, but very little action," BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said.
"The UK cannot compete without greater Government understanding of the competitive barriers that are holding back growth. More important, those barriers must be broken down. At present, the industry is just fighting to maintain its share of the market, with little hope of significant growth."
"This is the biggest barrier to creating jobs in the industry – jobs at all levels, for men and women of all ages, throughout the country," she added.
More than 500 delegates gathered at the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel at the beginning of the month to debate what could be done to benefit the industry and the UK economy.
The BHA said the main points highlighted at the summit were:
- Hospitality and tourism must be better prioritised by Government with decisive leadership
- VAT, visa controls, airport infrastructure and regulation and red tape must all be tackled
- There must be no room for complacency with the current position of the UK as a tourism destination
- A unified strategy under the banner of the BHA is needed to lobby Government
- The industry should 'sell' more its role in job-creation, youth employment and apprenticeships
BigHospitality was at the BHA summit and asked five leading industry personalities what one change would most benefit the hospitality industry for a special video report:
The BHA has said it will now use the responses gathered to develop a strategy to lobby Whitehall with ahead of the second BHA summit which it has announced will take place on Tuesday 11 June 2013.