UKHospitality Cymru (UKHC) has announced its priority areas for the incoming Welsh Government ahead of the 2021 Senedd election to be held this May. A full prospectus for UKHC’s ambitions for working with the next Government after May 6 will be launched in the coming weeks.
The priority areas highlight the vital need for the Welsh Government to support the hospitality and tourism sectors and put businesses that have been acutely and disproportionately affected by COVID-19, at the heart of plans for recovery and growth.
UKHC is calling for a diverse range of measures to benefit communities across Wales – the protection and generation of jobs, help with restoring high-streets and a partnership for driving economic growth. They include:
• Economic status: make hospitality a top economic priority in Wales. The sector is a beacon of economic force across Wales and deserves requisite prioritisation within Government policy prioritisation.
• Ease the Tax burden: end unfair Business Rates; keep VAT low; scrap any plans for a Tourist Tax; freeing hospitality to boost jobs and work in the supply chains.
• Skills: continue to work with the sector, through the Hospitality and Tourism Skills Partnership, to help promote its work and the many and diverse careers on offer in the sector.
• Partnership with Government and Minister: continue to build on the successful partnership between Government and UKHC during the Covid-19 crisis, and formalise active consultation with the sector; put in place a dedicated Minister for Hospitality and Tourism with Cabinet authority in the new administration.
• Remove restrictions: provide a moratorium on new sector regulations from Welsh Government. Covid19 restrictions and social distancing renders the majority of hospitality venues unprofitable, so a timescale for their removal is crucial for the sector to plan ahead with certainty and play its part in the economic recovery.
UKHospitality Cymru Executive Director David Chapman said: “The benefits of a flourishing hospitality and tourism sector are felt by communities in every corner of Wales. After more than a year of unprecedented challenges, there is a great opportunity for a fully supported hospitality industry to be at the heart of economic recovery, the recovery of wellbeing, the protection of our unique culture, the support and growth of the food and drink supply chain and the revival of our social lives.
“The economic and social impacts our sector can have are clear: restoring high streets and communities, creating job opportunities and offering professional progression, in particular for our younger people who are able to build a lifelong career near their family home.
“To achieve this we need a strong partnership with government and ongoing support. Our key priorities reflect industry hopes and concerns and indicate to the incoming Welsh Government how they can help us spark an economic revival by helping the hospitality sector to flourish once again.”