The hospitality industry has welcomed the government's final decision to approve a third runway for Heathrow Airport.
The Airports Commission's final report backed the expansion of Heathrow, saying it would add £147b in economic growth and create 70,000 new jobs by 2050, while estate agent Savills said it would increase demand for hotel rooms by 42%.
The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has welcomed the decision. Chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: "We welcome the government's decision on airport expansion at Heathrow. The challenge from other European hub airports vying to replace Heathrow is serious, especially once the UK has left the European Union. This decision demonstrates that the UK is open to visitors and investment from across the globe, and will also allow space for domestic air links to support regional tourism right across the country."
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses across the UK, has also come out in support of the decision. Paul Drechsler, CBI president, said it would "create the air links that will do so much to drive jobs and unlock growth across the UK" and give businesses the "confidence to invest".
He added: "Our aviation capacity is set to run out as early as 2025, so it's crucial we get spades in the ground as soon as possible to reap the benefits for jobs and growth, precisely when the country needs them most. This project should form part of a long-term framework for aviation capacity for the whole of the UK. Pressing ahead with key infrastructure projects like this will provide not only a welcome economic stimulus, but will show the world that we are well and truly open for business as we negotiate our exit from the EU."
Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of the Arora Group, operator of the Holiday Inn, Sofitel and Renaissance hotels at Heathrow, said: "I am delighted by today's announcement that a new terminal at London Heathrow is the preferred option for airport expansion. It is vital for the UK economy that airport expansion in the South East goes ahead, especially in light of the result of the EU referendum, and there's little reason why Gatwick should not also expand in the future. The expansion at Heathrow makes strong economic and business sense and this major investment in our country's infrastructure and connectivity will certainly play a role in the economic perception of the UK as the government negotiates Brexit."
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