Yesterday when Evan Davies interviewed our editor on the ‘Today’ programme, he seemed sceptical about the idea that the hospitality industry turns over £90 billion.
Yes, our industry is the fifth biggest employer in the UK, accounting for 2.44 million jobs (one in every 13), turning over £90 billion and directly contributing £46 billion in ‘Gross Value Added’ to the UK economy. (Thanks to BHA for these figures.)
It also generates an additional 1.2 million jobs through “multiplier” effects - for example in food and drink production, agriculture and business services selling to the hospitality sector.
As David Cameron has said, “the rewards for growth in hospitality are immense. For every half a percent increase in our share of world tourism. we can add £2.7 billion to our economy and 50,000 jobs”.
Yet how much do we hear in the media, when they talk about “growth and jobs”, about hospitality, our 5th biggest employer? Certainly much less than about construction (7th), transport and communications (8th), and public administration and defence (9th).
What about financial services? We’re hearing about them daily. Tenth.
Hospitality Today will keep flying the flag for our industry, and campaigning for a VAT reduction (which we raised over a year ago), for red tape to be cut, for ‘Double Summer Time’, reform of VISA and APD regulations, and many other issues that currently hold back hospitality from filling its full potential to help the economy grow, bring in ‘export’ earnings and generate jobs.