Politics and the hospitality industry

The 7th of May looms, and with it a fear of the unknown.

Each political party’s manifesto has now been revealed and all have made some reference to the hospitality and tourism industry, some acknowledging ‘for the first time ever’ the contribution that the sector makes towards the UK economy.

In collaboration with our partners, the British Hospitality Association (BHA), we have listed below a summary of each party’s commitment to hospitality and tourism.

The Conservative Party manifesto references the value of tourism to the UK economy. They promise to speed up the visa process for tourists and invest in transport infrastructure and apprentice schemes.

The Labour Party manifesto disappointed the BHA, by what it called ‘a glaring absence’ of the industry, however they are committed to making a speedy decision on the Davies Commission review to expand aviation capacity in the UK which will subsequently drive UK tourism.

Both the Green Party and Plaid Cymru support the BHA’s campaign to cut tourism VAT. This news is welcomed by the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign who recently criticised Chancellor George Osborne for failing to mention the reduction in the 2015 budget, despite backing from 118 MP’s and the BHA.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to strengthening the Hospitality and Tourism Council, appointing the Business and Culture Secretaries as co-chairs. They also pledge more empowerment to local tourism authorities, enabling them to make decisions by which to promote tourism propositions. Tourism will also be given a higher status within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

UKIP have called for a dedicated Minister of State for Heritage and Tourism to be attached to the Cabinet Office.

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA called it a ‘small triumph’ for the three million UK hospitality workers.

The BHA strongly suggests the next Prime Minister should ensure the continued strengthening and influence of the Tourism Industry Council by leading it them self.

In addition to policies directly addressing tourism, political plans for minimum wage, apprenticeships and zero-hour contracts are all set to impact the hospitality industry.

Who will you vote for? How will their manifesto commitments impact your business?

You decide.