The findings of the report, ‘Driving UK Tourism: Sustaining growth in 2017 & beyond’, led to a discussion where Amaris called on the next government to improve the UK’s competitive edge with a pro-tourism and hospitality strategy.
Amaris hopes the plan will offer relief from the “spectre” of Brexit and inspire the next generation of hospitality leaders.
According to the report, 50% of industry experts felt the hospitality sector was unappreciated and needed more support. 45% of respondents felt visa and travel tax reforms were essential to ensuring the industry remained competitive post-Brexit.
Over half of those asked believed that the perception of hospitality careers in the UK was “outdated” as 40% suggested that the reliance on EU workforce was the number-one threat to the industry.
The report claimed that restricted access to UK talent was already putting pressure on the sector’s ability to recruit.
Further suggestions were made to reconsider tourism VAT and support regional and hub airports to incentivise inbound travel.
John Brennan, CEO of Amaris Hospitality, said: “Tourism is a crucial driver of the UK economy and the lifeblood of the hospitality industry.
“It’s evident from our research that we are at a crossroads; do we invest for the future and put in place a clear pro-tourism and hospitality strategy that will accelerate the growth of both UK tourism and hospitality, creating new opportunities for hospitality companies to pursue; or will we continue to leave ourselves exposed to consequences of Brexit that threaten to derail the industry.
“That is why we are calling on the next Government to sharpen the industry’s competitive edge so that we can play our part in making a success of Brexit.”