The value of the Living Wage to businesses was extoled by London Mayor Boris Johnson in a rousing speech to the Hospitality & Tourism Summit, earlier today.
"When businesses pay the Living Wage they have higher loyalty and commitment from staff, better productivity and lower staff turnover and HR costs," he said.
Employing his typical flamboyant and exaggerated delivery, Johnson said that London has come a long way to the pinnacle it has reached today as the "hospitality capital of the world", with an estimated 18.8million overseas visitors expected this year, up from 17.6million in 2014.
He relayed a conversation that he had several years ago with the author JK Rowling who, when he asked her why the World of Harry Potter was opening in Florida and not the East End. She replied that the UK doesn't not have the same kind of enthusiasm and can-do approach of the Americans.
"Oh JK how wrong you are," said Johnson, newly elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. "We've now got hundreds of thousands of people doing a vital, phenomenal job and, as a result we have some of the best catering on the whole planet. I am old enough to remember what JK was talking about, when hotel owners resembled Basil Fawlty, beer was warm, lamb and vegetables were boiled, the weather was foggy, and dishes were off the menu. However things have changed."
Johnson highlighted the importance of London to tourism throughout the rest of the UK, with the city acting as a gateway to 73% of visitors compared to just 13% who go through Paris to visit France and 20% who stop off in Rome on their way to other parts of Italy.
"We are continuing to improve the offer in London in the most brilliant and inventive way," he enthused. ""We will have the Garden Bridge, which will a gorgeous place for romantic meetings and secret assignations, while in the Olympics site in Stratford City the world's most visited museum, the Smithsonian in Washington is to open."
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