The Hospitality and Tourism Summit, Boris Johnson Interview

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    The Mayor of London celebrated the success of British Hospitality in his speech at The Hospitality & Tourism Summit as London reclaimed the no.1 spot as the most visited city in the world. For the second year running, The BHA had partnered with ITN Productions to produce the annual news-style programme capturing the latest trends, issues, best practices and insights in the hospitality sector, which was premiered at The Summit.

    Boris Johnson was interviewed by ITN Productions at The BHA Summit during which he claimed that despite uncertain times, it ‘wouldn’t make a bean of difference’ to the hospitality and tourism sector if the UK left the EU. He recognised the hospitality and tourism sector ‘as a massive income generator for this country’ that creates ‘great jobs’.

    Meanwhile Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainment and Chair of the BHA at The BHA Summit on 30th June, claimed that the hospitality and tourism sector is not valued by the government. ‘We’ve got to bring to government at the highest level, by which I mean the Prime Minister and Chancellor, the obvious fact that this industry employs 3 million people.’

    He called on the government for help to make UK tourism more competitive as the Euro weakens. Dermot King, newly announced Chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign along with Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA supported this by calling for more to be done in terms of cuts to VAT, in her opening remarks at the Summit, to level the playing field with other European countries. In the UK 20% is added in VAT compared to 10% in France. As hospitality is the 4th largest industry in the UK and 6th largest export industry, Varney said we need to ‘to build a strong domestic product’ which ‘provides opportunity, great training and great career development.’

    The Department for Work and Pensions is collaborating with the British Hospitality Association to launch a new employment engagement scheme called ‘Hospitality Works’. Martin Brown, director of Work Services for Wales & Employers from the Department for Work and Pensions spoke to ITN Productions about the campaign which will be led by the BHA January 2016. He explained how ‘Hospitality Works’ will seek engagement of all jobcentres across UK in promoting hospitality as a career choice, and dispelling the myth that hospitality is just a summer job. Tracey Crouch, Minister for Tourism, was keen express the importance of hospitality and tourism and said that the government and industry need ‘to act in a collaborative way to ensure we can support each other for a strong future.’

    ITN Productions filmed all of these interviews at the BHA Summit and produced the ‘Heart of Hospitality and Tourism’ programme. You can watch the interviews from the summit HERE.

    Presented by Natasha Kaplinsky, the programme ‘The Heart of Hospitality and Tourism’, looks at the value of the hospitality industry in the UK. Highlights include the ministerial interviews filmed at the BHA Summit along with key leading figures within the industry. The programme also features sponsored editorial profiles on Brend Hotels, Onecall Hospitality, Johnson’s Apparel Master, Ecolab, Wedding dates, Gather & Gather, Las Iguanas, Thai Leisure Group, GLH Hotels, Zapper and Orderella to see what businesses are doing to innovate for the future. You can watch the full programme HERE

    If you would like more information on ‘The Heart of Hospitality and Tourism’ or how you can be involved in next years’ programme please contact Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News at

    Daniel Fountain / 06.07.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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