Bob Cotton, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), has announced he will be leaving the association in July 2010, after the general election.
Cotton, who joined the BHA in January 2000, said the time of the general election was a good time to step down to allow his successor to forge all-important relationships with members of the new government.
He said: "By the time of the general election, I will have been chief executive for more than ten years, so the election of the new government in 2010 is an appropriate time for me to step down and hand over the reins.
"Building up good relationships with government departments is a key role and my successor will be able to do this right at the start of the new administration - no matter who wins the election.
"The last ten years have been immensely rewarding and challenging but it is now time to move on. The hospitality industry now plays an even greater role in the UK economy than it ever has done and, despite the present recession, looks set for further expansion", he added.
Dudley Osborn, chairman of BHA's national executive said that Cotton's contribution to the association had been "outstanding".
"He has raised the profile of the industry in every respect and he will be a very hard act follow. But we understand why he now wants to move on. His influence on the industry will continue to be felt in the future."
The association will begin the search for his successor later this year.
By Gemma Sharkey
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