Election 2015: Uncertain result could harm hospitality fear CEOs

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

CEOs at some of the UK's biggest hospitality companies say an uncertain result at this week's election could harm the industry
CEOs at some of the UK's biggest hospitality companies say an uncertain result at this week's election could harm the industry

Related tags: British hospitality association, Chief executive officer

An uncertain general election result later this week could damage consumer confidence and result in losses for the hospitality industry, top CEO’s have warned.

The concerns come from a survey of 42 UK-based industry leaders commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. 

Although half of hospitality leaders at companies including Fuller's, Marriott, Travelodge, Whitbread and YO! Sushi, were optimistic that consumers would continue to spend money over the next 12 months, bosses feared that ‘rash’ policies put in place by any incoming government could ‘spook’ consumers in to spending less. 

Politicians were also criticised for being out of touch in their understanding of the sector and its importance to the economy. 

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “The incoming government needs to step up to the plate and effectively serve our three million strong workforce. Ensuring a conducive policy environment to support the hospitality and tourism industry is not 'rocket science'. It just needs commitment, leadership and a government that works with our private sector, rather than against it.” 

Despite uncertainty over the general election, 72 per cent of executives were positive about the UK’s economic growth outlook, while 67 per cent predicted moderate or significant growth for their own company.

When asked whether they felt that their business was performing better this year than the previous one, the majority said it was much better (20 per cent) or somewhat better (53 per cent)

When asked what concerned them most, 22 per cent of those with significant operations in central London said it was potential terrorist attacks while 17 per cent said it was national political issues and commercial performance. Thirteen per cent said the lack of talent management concerned them.  

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