FOLLOWING ITS annual summit the British Hospitality Association (BHA) has voiced its concerns over proposed funding cuts to UK tourism.
The BHA is calling on the Government to halt cuts to VisitBritain’s budget, which they estimate has already seen a 56.5% reduction in real terms in the past 12 years. Further cuts are being proposed, likely to be set at 12%.
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA, commented: “VisitBritain’s budget has been cut even though £1 spent on tourism marketing produces an extra £18 in additional spend by visitors, much of which gets back to the Treasury as extra tax receipts. Hospitality and tourism is one of the UK's most successful growth sectors and we have achieved growth despite, rather than because of the Government.
"The Government seems to lack the understanding that, as an established and successful industry, we can be a massive driver of quality jobs growth throughout the UK with proper support. Cutting the tourism budget yet again shows that it's just an easy target rather than one which is fair or properly thought through. We are writing to the Prime Minister to express the industry’s dismay at this development.”
Key facts & figures
• The UK tourism industry is a major sector of the economy. It contributes £134bn in direct and indirect spend representing 9% of GDP
• Hospitality employs 2.68m people and is a key driver of national as well as all local UK economies – creating over a quarter of all new jobs between 2010 and 2012
• The hospitality and tourism industry employs 10% of the national workforce
• On Tuesday 11th June the BHA announced that the UK’s hospitality industry will create over 30,000 new job opportunities for young people by 2015