Cutting VisitBritain funding by almost 20% shows that the Government "doesn't care" about tourism, British Hospitality Association (BHA) chief executive Bob Cotton said last night.
Speaking at the BHA's centenary dinner at the Foreign Office, Cotton said the decision was a "most curious move" for a Government that claimed to support the tourism industry.
"Government does not appear to appreciate this. Or, if it does, it doesn't seem to care."
Cotton added said that recent government decisions on capital gains tax, the abolition of the Hotel Buildings Allowance and scrapping other tax increasing small company taxation advantages also discriminated against the hospitality industry.
Challenges of the future, according to the BHA chief, include the need to recruit more staff - preferably British - and to pay greater attention to training and development and working conditions. And looming large on the horizon is the "certain need" to reduce energy costs, he added.
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By Daniel Thomas