The chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), Ufi Ibrahim (pictured), is calling for the government to clarify the future of immigration laws following the Brexit vote.
Ibrahim, speaking to thisismoney.co.uk, said: "While 15% is a significant number in itself, it helps sustain the rest of the British workforce. So it's a great concern for us and we're asking the government not to push our businesses to a cliff edge on immigration.
"Our industry is extremely labour intensive, employing 4.5 million people, so we want to see the prime minister as soon as possible giving a message that people who are here and working and have jobs can stay."
A survey of its members carried out by the BHA showed a majority of 74% opted to stay within the EU.
However, the vote to leave may help the industry to succeed with one of its longest campaigns, to cut tourism VAT to 5%.
Ibrahim said: "There's a real opportunity to reshape policy, which could really help improve our competitiveness. VAT could be one of the single most powerful ways to increase demand and exports into the UK and in businesses across the entire country."