Home / Latest News / Merger Creates Powerful Unified Voice for UK’s £130bn Hospitality Sector

Merger Creates Powerful Unified Voice for UK’s £130bn Hospitality Sector

Plans have been unveiled today to deliver a powerful new unified voice to support the dynamic hospitality sector to deliver its full growth potential.

The merger of the UK’s two major hospitality trade associations – the BHA and the ALMR – will create a new body, UKHospitality, which will actively speak out for the UK’s third largest private sector employer, which combined directly generates £130bn of revenue each year.

Key headlines from this transformational collaboration include:

  • The new body will bring together businesses from all aspects of hospitality – pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, leisure parks, contract caterers, entertainment and visitor attractions
  • UKHospitality will actively speak for these combined industries on the big strategic, structural and regulatory issues and deliver policies to support its strong growth trajectory
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK – double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
  • The sector is calling for a dedicated Minister to champion the industry at home and abroad and a sector deal, brokered with government, to support skills and productivity

Combining the expertise, experience and resources of the ALMR and the BHA, the proposed new body would champion the breadth of innovative and vibrant hospitality businesses across the UK, giving an authoritative voice to over 700 companies and 65,000 venues. It will speak on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out of home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to multi-site and independent single-site operators.

Alongside the merger proposals, the two bodies have released new figures emphasising the size, scale and importance of the sector and its continued potential for growth. The sector is forecast to grow by 4.3% annually, generating 19,000 additional jobs by 2020.

UKHospitality’s objective will be to deliver much-needed policies to help the sector secure that opportunity, and would drive employment and innovation, and support entrepreneurs.

Announcing the proposals, Kate Nicholls, proposed CEO-elect of UKHospitality said: “This sector is a vital, dynamic economic powerhouse whose importance is clear in our communities, our high streets and our everyday lives. It is one of our fastest growing, most productive industries and last year it delivered 1 in 8 of all new jobs. Faced with unprecedented political and regulatory pressures, now more than ever it requires the strongest and most effective voice to Government. UKHospitality will be that vital voice and I am relishing the prospect of working with members to deliver both strong and connected relationships with government and a shared ambition to reshape the future of hospitality.”

Nick Varney, proposed Chair of UKHospitality, added: “Hospitality is a prosperous and vibrant sector with great potential for further growth if the right policies are in place. We are calling for a new ministerial champion and sector deal enabling the hospitality sector to invest in world-class careers and customer experiences.”

Steve Richards, proposed Deputy Chair of UKHospitality, said: “A single strong voice for this vital and important sector will create a powerful platform for the changes we need – on tax, on people, on property and on regulation – for UK hospitality to really thrive, drive jobs growth and cement its position as a leading industry, globally.”

The proposals have been recommended to members and an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) will be held in February to approve them.

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