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News

Invest in hospitality sector, urges Mayor of London

Another year and another successful BHA Annual Luncheon.

More than 600 guests gathered at Grosvenor House, London on Wednesday, 24 June to hear BHA chief executive Bob Cotton and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's views on tourism.

Bob Cotton's message was clear, as he called for every hotelier and restaurateur to stress the economic importance of the hospitality industry on politicians and parliamentary candidates at the next general election.

He told the guest of honour, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, that the argument was simple: "Tourism and hospitality is the economic lifeline for many regions of the country. It is ready to expand. It is ready to create new jobs. It is prepared to invest in the future. But only if government gives it the right encouragement.

"All of us in the industry - nationally, regionally, locally - have the task of ensuring that our politicians and parliamentary candidates at the next general election fully understand the scale of the contribution that the industry makes to the economy. And - more important - the even greater contribution it could make if only government would take it seriously."

He said that the recent withdrawal of the Hotel Buildings Allowance and other tax incentives was a double whammy which was now deterring the 40,000 or privately owned hospitality businesses from investing in their future.

"In the current economic climate, the overwhelming objective for UK hospitality and tourism is to provide even greater value for money than ever before. We can do this only through investment in our people and our product.

"The industry needs a government that understands that tourism remains a key economic driver - both nationally and in the regions. Do we have this understanding? I fear not."

He said that now was the time that the industry needed tax and fiscal incentives to encourage its continuing investment in new hotels and restaurants, in its refurbishment programmes and in additions and extensions, but lamented: "It is ironic that government actions are achieving the opposite result."

London Mayor Boris Johnson also gave a lengthy and entertaining speech at the BHA Annual Luncheon, telling delegates he would do "all he can" to promote tourism ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

"As we head towards the London Games in 2012, the next few years provide unprecedented opportunities for the UK's tourism and hospitality industries.

"Working closely together, we must be ready, as the focus of the world turns towards our country and its capital.

"London is the gateway to the UK and if we get our offer to tourists right, then the whole country benefits. In fact, we have seen our continued support for tourism paying off and helping the city's economy through the recession. So I urge government to take our experience and invest in our hospitality sector across the country to ensure we maximise the huge benefits coming our way."

Another year and another successful BHA Annual Luncheon. More than 600 guests gathered at Grosvenor House, London on Wednesday, 24 June to hear BHA chief executive Bob Cotton and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's views on tourism.
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020709-BHA-Boris.gif
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News

Invest in hospitality sector, urges Mayor of London

Another year and another successful BHA Annual Luncheon.

More than 600 guests gathered at Grosvenor House, London on Wednesday, 24 June to hear BHA chief executive Bob Cotton and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's views on tourism.

Bob Cotton's message was clear, as he called for every hotelier and restaurateur to stress the economic importance of the hospitality industry on politicians and parliamentary candidates at the next general election.

He told the guest of honour, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, that the argument was simple: "Tourism and hospitality is the economic lifeline for many regions of the country. It is ready to expand. It is ready to create new jobs. It is prepared to invest in the future. But only if government gives it the right encouragement.

"All of us in the industry - nationally, regionally, locally - have the task of ensuring that our politicians and parliamentary candidates at the next general election fully understand the scale of the contribution that the industry makes to the economy. And - more important - the even greater contribution it could make if only government would take it seriously."

He said that the recent withdrawal of the Hotel Buildings Allowance and other tax incentives was a double whammy which was now deterring the 40,000 or privately owned hospitality businesses from investing in their future.

"In the current economic climate, the overwhelming objective for UK hospitality and tourism is to provide even greater value for money than ever before. We can do this only through investment in our people and our product.

"The industry needs a government that understands that tourism remains a key economic driver - both nationally and in the regions. Do we have this understanding? I fear not."

He said that now was the time that the industry needed tax and fiscal incentives to encourage its continuing investment in new hotels and restaurants, in its refurbishment programmes and in additions and extensions, but lamented: "It is ironic that government actions are achieving the opposite result."

London Mayor Boris Johnson also gave a lengthy and entertaining speech at the BHA Annual Luncheon, telling delegates he would do "all he can" to promote tourism ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

"As we head towards the London Games in 2012, the next few years provide unprecedented opportunities for the UK's tourism and hospitality industries.

"Working closely together, we must be ready, as the focus of the world turns towards our country and its capital.

"London is the gateway to the UK and if we get our offer to tourists right, then the whole country benefits. In fact, we have seen our continued support for tourism paying off and helping the city's economy through the recession. So I urge government to take our experience and invest in our hospitality sector across the country to ensure we maximise the huge benefits coming our way."

Another year and another successful BHA Annual Luncheon. More than 600 guests gathered at Grosvenor House, London on Wednesday, 24 June to hear BHA chief executive Bob Cotton and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's views on tourism.
NULL,
020709-BHA-Boris.gif

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