Tourism associations have joined forces to launch a campaign to encourage political parties to include hospitality in their manifestos.
The Campaign for Tourism will urge the major political parties to recognise hospitality's contribution to the economy in the run up to the next general election.
It brings together 33 tourism bodies representing attractions, heritage sites, B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, and destinations including the British Hospitality Association and Tourism Alliance.
They have sent letters to all major political parties highlighting that tourism was not mentioned in any of the manifestos at the last general election.
The campaign aims to trigger debate and raise the profile of the industry.
Lord Lee of Trafford, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tourism and Chairman of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions said that the UK government doesn't recognise the potential of hospitality as an economic growth generator.
"Tourism and hospitality is the number one industry in more constituencies than any other industry in the country," he added. "By coming together to support this campaign, we are able to deliver a clear message to the Government: Take tourism seriously."
Tourism Alliance president Sir David Michels said that the growth in tourism spend to £134b in 2012 made the industry one of the UK's leading growth industries.
He said: Politicians need to acknowledge and act on this in developing manifestos for the next election. They must include tourism-specific policies and positions to maximise the true potential of this great industry."
British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim added: "For some inexplicable reason there is a perception that the tourism and hospitality industry is somehow less valuable than other industries. In fact, the tourism industry in the UK comprises over 200,000 businesses and ours is a major contributor to both the economy and to the creation and generation of new jobs. The Campaign for Tourism is a fine example of our industry working together, and our collective voice is stronger and our impact is greater when we work together."