Among the first acts of David Cameron's premiership was a speech on the great value of the tourism industry to the UK economy. So is he helping or hindering? This is what the BHA thinks
The UK is at a competitive risk
Ufi IbrahimChief Executive, BHA
When the prime minister acknowledged tourism as one of the five big-ticket industries of the future, and one that the Government should get behind, the BHA was among the first to embrace his two objectives through which 236,000 additional jobs could be created by the hospitality industry.
But rather than investing in tourism, £60m-worth of funding has been removed with the abolition of Regional Development Agencies. There is also serious concern regarding the funding of Local Enterprise Partnerships, and the influence that local tourism businesses will be able to bring to bear on them.
The Government has responded to the BHA's calls on cutting red tape, easing the visa process, and promoting apprenticeships for hospitality. But on top of a new immigration policy hindering businesses, the UK is at a competitive risk through the introduction of the second-highest rate of VAT for hospitality in the EU.
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