MP’s and hospitality industry leaders meet

33 MPs FROM across the UK took part in a day in Parliament this week, highlighting the importance of the hospitality and tourism industry to economic sustainability.

Foodservice Footprint westminster MP's and hospitality industry leaders meet Out of Home sector news Press Releases  Westminster VAT Oxford Economics Merlin Entertainments PLC BHA









Industry leaders are asking the government for policy reforms to help make it more competitive with rival tourist destinations, particularly in Europe.


According to an independent Oxford Economics study commissioned by the British Hospitality Association, Hospitality is Britain’s fourth largest industry, supporting 14 per cent of total employment and delivering £143bn a year to Britain’s economy. It has also created one in five of all new jobs since 2010. However VAT is still levied at 20% – almost twice the European average.


No fewer than 25 out of 27 EU countries have reduced rates for hospitality. Industry leaders are campaigning for a lower rate of 5% on hospitality in the UK.


The day included a Parliamentary reception hosted by Brighton Pavilion MP, Caroline Lucas and Nick Varney, chairman of the BHA and CEO of Merlin Entertainments PLC and a series of meetings between MPs and hospitality business owners and managers.


The day also included a briefing session on the latest BHA-commissioned research by Oxford Economics into the economic contribution of the British Hospitality Industry. The Report finds that:



  • Hospitality is 4th largest industry, delivering £143bn per annum – that’s 10% of gross value added to GDP
  • Hospitality and tourism created 1 in 5 new jobs since 2010 (Hospitality alone has delivered 331,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2015 – accounts for 17% of all new jobs created in the UK
  • And we are well on track to achieving our 2013 agenda to create 300,000 new jobs by 2020
  • Hospitality & Tourism employs 4.49 million people (10% of the whole working population).1 in 10 people work in the hospitality and tourism industry
  • For every 10 direct jobs, the industry creates another 6 in the wider economy
  • 34 per cent of the workforce are under 25 years of age
  • There are 475,000 unemployed 16 – 24 year olds in Britain = nearly 14 per cent of young people under 24 are unemployed
  • This industry will deliver 60,000 apprenticeships, work experiences, and career opportunities for Britain’s young people by the end of 2016 via the Big Hospitality Conversation
  • UK is the 8th largest international tourism destination by visitor numbers – behind France, the USA, Spain, China, Italy, Turkey and Germany (we’ve slipped down the rankings since 2012)