The Prime Minister’s announcement of a tourism sector deal has been warmly received by industry bodies . UKHospitality has hailed the launch of a Sector Deal for Tourism as a landmark moment. The announcement by the Government will see the sector prioritised and recognised as a key driver of future economic growth and vital to the prosperity of the UK.
Kate Nicholls, CEO UKHospitality, said: “This Sector Deal marks a tremendous moment for all of us in the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries. The move will be absolutely critical in changing the perception of the sector within Government and the wider public opinion, and acknowledges that hospitality is key to the country’s economic growth.
“Tourism and hospitality are inextricably linked, with over 80% of tourism jobs within hospitality, so this will have a positive impact on our ability to recruit and retain the people we need. UKHospitality has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Government understands the importance of our vital industry and we look forward to continuing this partnership, with positive action to secure the future workforce for our sector.”
Nick Varney, UKHospitality Chairman and CEO of Merlin Entertainments, said: “I welcome the announcement of this Sector Deal, which is an acknowledgement by Government of the critical role tourism and hospitality plays in the future of the UK economy. Realisation of this opportunity coincides with consumers’ increasing desire for experiences; whether that’s a high-quality stay, a delicious meal or a fun day out.
“I hope this agreement will act as a catalyst for greater cooperation and connectivity between our industry, Government and other stakeholder groups in supporting tourism and hospitality as the choice for investment and the place for an exciting and rewarding career.”
Co-Chair of the Tourism Industry Council, Simon Vincent OBE, who is EVP & President, EMEA, of Hilton added: “The Tourism Sector Deal is an important vote of confidence in the UK tourism industry, providing a long-term vision which reflects the skills and innovation in our sector and will help ensure we continue to thrive in a highly competitive global market.”
Leading UKH members welcome deal
Nick Mackenzie, CEO at Greene King
“We welcome the Government’s announcement of this Sector Deal, which recognises the important role of the industry in the UK’s economic growth. We are proud of Greene King’s contribution to the industry, employing 38,000 people. We are also one of the largest hospitality sector providers of apprenticeships in the UK and have supported more than 11,000 team members through apprenticeships since 2011. We are looking forward to working with government and the industry through the Sector Deal, which will help us support more people who are interested in a career in hospitality and tourism.”
Thomas Dubaere, COO of Accor Northern Europe
“This announcement is welcome recognition of the significant role the tourism and hospitality industry plays right across the UK economy. The sector employs one in ten people in the UK, whose skills are required daily to represent the nation to the world.
“The number of people employed in accommodation and food service has risen by 18% in the last decade. At Accor, we are investing heavily in the UK, helping to ensure people can capitalise on their talent and the opportunities the sector provides. We believe the Sector Deal will highlight both the range of high value career paths and the economic benefit our industry offers.”
Bob Ivell, Chairman at Mitchells & Butlers
“As a leading employer of people working in pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK, this new Sector Deal is great news for us and the country’s hospitality businesses. This deal will be a game-changer, moving the sector up the agenda and increasing employment opportunities in both hospitality and tourism.”
Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzuri Group
“Azzurri welcomes this 10th Sector Deal with Government. The hospitality industry is a significant contributor to the UK economy and a major employer, particularly for young people. We are encouraged that this is gaining more recognition in Government and more generally and look forward to building greater support for the sector in future.”
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) also welcomed the Government’s announcement of a Sector Deal for Tourism, stating that it will greatly boost pubs, brewers and hospitality.
Pubs are third on the list of things to do for overseas visitors to the UK and over half visit a pub whilst they are here. Ensuring Britain’s tourism offer remains competitive through a sector deal is therefore good news for pubs, the hospitality sector and those brewers located in tourist hotspots. It shows that tourism, as the third largest service sector, ranks alongside manufacturing and technology as being vital to the future of the UK, says the BBPA.
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, it is imperative that UK nationals see working in a pub, brewery and the wider hospitality sector as an appealing career option. Recruitment and retention are vital when, as it stands, BBPA data suggests that 24% of pub employees come from overseas, rising to over 80% in metropolitan areas. The BBPA believes the Sector Deal for Tourism will boost recruitment by promoting important tourism careers like those in pubs and hospitality through enhanced apprenticeship schemes and additional funding for staff training.
Other key parts of the sector deal will be Tourism Zones, events to attract businesses to the UK, infrastructure support (including broadband), accessibility investment and shared tourism data. All of these are welcomed by the BBPA, whose members continue to invest in their pubs, pub bedrooms and hotels, which are essential to the tourism industry.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments:
“Brewing and pubs are vital attractions for our tourism industry, which is why the BBPA has been at the heart of the development of the Sector Deal for Tourism. Working with VisitBritain, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Enterprise, Innovation and Skills, we have created a partnership with support from across Government that will boost our sector.
“The BBPA will be leading on the skills aspect of the sector deal, pledging £100,000 towards a recruitment and retention campaign. This will help attract and retain talent in our industry and provide them with a clear and exciting career pathway.
“London alone is aiming for 30% growth in visitors by 2025, so the Sector Deal for Tourism is both timely and welcome. We hope it will be the beginning of greater support and understanding across Government of tourism and the place of hospitality in it, creating an industry which is world class.”