Hotels and restaurants are fuelling jobs growth with hospitality and tourism now accounting for more than 10% of the UK's workforce.
The sector is the UK's fourth largest employing industry according to a new report by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), which indicates that hospitality has the potential to deliver 300,000 new jobs by 2020, but only if Government and industry work together.
Ufi Ibrahim, BHA chief executive, commented: "We present a clear choice for the Government and the hospitality industry.
"Either we are content with a 'steady as she goes' approach or we jointly pilot a path for a more ambitious strategy.
"Growth will be hard to maintain because of international competition and the weak economy. If we do something about this now then the prize is considerable - 300,000 new jobs in Britain."
Simon Vincent, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide welcomed the BHA's report: "The hospitality industry is the UK's fifth largest sector, worth well in excess of £100bn a year, and as such it needs to be viewed by the Government as an export industry.
"Government and industry working together is essential to increasing our global competitiveness in areas such as visa reform, infrastructure development and investment in young people to ensure the UK remains best in class."
Jobs by parliamentary constituency
•Scotland and Wales have the highest percentage of people employed in hospitality businesses (9.2% each) and Northern Ireland has the lowest percentage (7.3%)
•Westmoreland and Lonsdale (in The Lake District) is the parliamentary constituency with the highest percentage of people working in hospitality
•Three London Boroughs (Kensington, Westminster North and Chelsea and Fulham) are also in the top 20 parliamentary constituencies which have the highest percentage of people working in hospitality
UK vs. rest of the world (based on World Economic Forum research into Travel and Tourism Competitiveness)
•The UK has improved its overall world travel and tourism ranking and moved from 11th position in 2009 to 5th in 2013
•As a holiday destination, Britain is perceived as too expensive for many international travellers and businesses looking to travel to the UK - it is at the very bottom of the price competitiveness ranking at 138 out of 140 countries.