Paul Clarke, chairman of Bournemouth Coastal BID and a hotelier
Bournemouth Coastal BID is throwing its support behind a campaign to have a dedicated Minister for Hospitality in the government.
The BID, which represents the coastal region from Tuckton to Westbourne, is dependent on the hospitality sector more than most.
With the brief summer season now over, many businesses are banking on half term and Christmas to keep their heads above water.
The sector believes it needs dedicated representation at the top table to fight for extra support through the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
A petition to support the move has been launched and if it reaches 100,000 it will have to be considered for debate in parliament.
Paul Clarke, chairman of the BID and hotelier, said: “The hospitality industry employs around three million people, generates £130bn of activity and pays £38n in tax.
“Despite the size of the sector it has no dedicated minister as the arts or sports have.
“Such a role would be useful at any time, but with the lockdowns disproportionally hitting hospitality, now is the time to appoint one.
“We need someone to fight for hospitality businesses and to secure assistance to keep them viable.
“Lockdowns and restrictions could last for some time and the fear is that many pubs, bars, hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, restaurants and other traders will go out of business.
“In the areas we represent hospitality is huge and employs many people and boosts incomes of other businesses in the supply chain.
“If you consider how many coaches visit the area loaded with tourists you can begin to understand the effect on the local economy when they don’t arrive.
“A Minister at the Cabinet table would be able to make the case for hospitality, which is a vital sector.”
You can sign the petition here: