Members of the British Hospitality and Tourism sector have urged the government to start viewing their businesses as serious contributors to economic growth.
A number of speakers at the British Hospitality & Tourism Summit, which took place in London on Wednesday (12th June), used their slots to ask why the sector was still not considered as important as finance, manufacturing or creative industries in the eyes of cabinet ministers.
Cited by travelweekly.co.uk, research from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows the hospitality sector accounting for ten per cent of the UK’s total gross domestic product, with twice the export potential of IT and communications and four times that of music, media and fashion.
However, it seems representatives from event venues, event planners, restaurants and pubs are still craving recognition for their achievements. Alastair Story of catering services firm BaxterStorey, one of the speakers at the event in London, said hospitality’s contribution to employment alone cannot be overlooked.
“The fact our industry created 150 jobs in a two year period is remarkable,” he said, cited by bighospitality.co.uk.
“We do have a government in the UK that understands business better than other countries, but we are not getting the recognition and support that our industry deserves. My plea to the government is that they start to recognise the gem that they have in this industry and they work with us and understand how they could help.”
Three MPS also took to the stand on Wednesday, including secretary of state for culture Maria Miller. In her speech, she acknowledged the importance of British hospitality and tourism in terms of economic growth, backing the sector to raise its game in order to boost the UK’s competitiveness.
Though while she did hint that a greater level of support for the sector could be in the pipeline, Ms Miller said this would only be discussed in the negotiations with the Treasury regarding the forthcoming Spending Review.