UK Hospitality bangs battle drum louder one year in

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Following its creation last year, UK Hospitality has pledged to fight harder than ever for the trade as chief executive Kate Nicholls outlines the industry’s strengths in an anniversary statement.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and the British Hospitality Association joined forces in 2018 to form the UK Hospitality Association (UKH), forming “one voice”.

Following the partnership, membership of the group has grown to represent more than 700 hospitality companies across the UK, backing the trade on issues such as business rates and employment to name a few.

Hospitality accounts for 3.2 million jobs in the UK, contributing over £130bn to the economy as the third largest employer in the country – bigger than the automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical industries combined, which contribute a total of £126bn a year – said Nicholls in the video above.

Value to the UK economy

In its first year, UKH promoted the interests of our sector and its value to the UK economy to heavyweights in the Government, including the Prime Minister.

The engagement yielded successes in various policy areas, with Nicholls having the opportunity to put the sector’s needs forward as important political decisions were being made.

Such successes included:

  • Working with partners to secure an ‘in principle’ Sector Deal agreement
  • Securing sector-specific business rates relief and a select committee inquiry
  • Supporting CMA action to enforce a set of principles for online booking platforms
  • Ensuring hospitality businesses are opted out of a DRS scheme in Scotland
  • Building a range of member engagement meetings, including a revitalised regional network
  • Enhancing engagement with Ministers and Parliamentarians through the APPG for Hospitality
  • Preserving NMW youth rates
  • Bolstering political engagement and elevating hospitality to the top table of Government

However, as the political landscape – both nationally and globally – remains unstable, Nicholls is preparing the organisation to champion the industry for another year.

12 months of focus

Issues UKH will be focusing on over the next 12 months include addressing the workforce needs of the sector; tackling inequitable tax and regulation; and addressing the unregulated digital tax economy.

“We look back over the last year in celebration and focus on continuing to work together to unlock the industry’s potential as one of the biggest engines of growth for the economy,” said Nicholls in a statement.

“UK Hospitality was formed to create the single, authoritative voice for the hospitality sector, and while we have had a year of notable successes, we look forward to the next 12 months and building on the momentum and energy to achieve even more for our members.

“It’s been an incredible journey and I look forward to working together to achieve further success.”

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