Kit Chapman calls on Government to start taking hospitality and tourism seriously

16 July 2012 by
Kit Chapman calls on Government to start taking hospitality and tourism seriously

Kit Chapman, the owner of the Castle at Taunton, has called on the Government to start taking the hospitality and tourism industry seriously, in a speech at the University of Surrey at the weekend.

Chapman said he wanted to see the Government move responsibility for hospitality and tourism policy, currently under the aegis of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, as part of the portfolio of the trade minister.

"We are not some kind of Tom & Jerry show! We generate £90b of direct business annually for the UK, support over 2.5 million jobs and rank among the top six biggest sectors in our economy," Chapman said.

He also dismissed as "arrant nonsense" and a "huge porkie" the Government's claim that UK tourism was a "priority industry".

"(Chancellor) George Osborne's U-turn on the pasty tax and VAT on holiday caravans betrays the Government's cynical indifference to the value of tourism to UK Plc. They just don't get it. The Westminster/Whitehall machine has not registered our country's huge potential in this globalised and highly competitive business world".

On VAT he added: "We are competing with our European neighbours with one arm tied behind our back. In France VAT on hotels has been reduced to 5.5%. In Italy it is 10% and Spain 8%. Indeed, our industry is now ranked 135th out of 139 countries on price competitiveness."

Chapman wants to see VAT on hotels and restaurants slashed to 5% to boost jobs, investment and growth in the sector.

He had been invited to speak at the University of Surrey's Guildford campus for its inaugural International Alumni Day on Saturday 14 July.

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

Tabletalk
Tabletalk
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk

Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Blogs on Catererandhotelkeeper.com ](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/email-newsletters.htm)[ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking