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March 2017

BHA Offers to Help Brexit Secretary Hammer Out Immigration Law HOSPITALITY AND tourism leaders are urgently seeking a meeting with Brexit Secretary David Davis to hammer out an EU migration plan following Mr Davis’ “heartening” comments that the UK would keep its door open for service workers in hospitality, agriculture and social care. In a letter to Mr Davis, the British Hospitality Association, the leading tourism body, said it would welcome the opportunity to help shape the UK’s new immigration law. It was reassured by Mr Davis’ recognition that it would take “years and years” to get British workers ready to fill jobs done by European migrants. The chief executive of the BHA, Ufi Ibrahim, said today: “We are delighted that Mr Davis has listened to the realistic and clear arguments we have made that it will take time to replace the 700,000 EU workers who work in our industry, the UK’s fourth largest. We want to now have a serious dialogue with the Government as we get into the nitty gritty of a new immi-

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gration law. “We think that in the interests of maintaining our strong economy, which Mr Davis recognises is dependent on service workers from the EU, there needs to be a rigorous evidencebased approach to immigration. We suggest that this would be best done by expanding the role of the Migration Advisory Committee, which up till now has dealt with matters outside the EU. Ms Ibrahim continued: “We also need to ensure that any new law is not overly bureaucratic or costly as 80 per cent of the 200,000 businesses in the hospitality sector are SMEs employing less than 10 people. Many of these businesses are already just about managing, and increased costs could put them over the edge. She said: “We are determined to rely less on EU service workers over the coming years but it will take time, as Mr Davis has recognised. This is why we have already urged the government to consider a phased approach. We at the BHA will be focusing our efforts on promoting hospitality as a rewarding and exciting career to UK workers.”

Record-Breaking 2016 For Inbound UK Tourism

STATISTICS PUBLISHED by VisitBritain confirm a 3% increase in numbers on 2015, although spending, at £22.2 billion, remained the same as the previous year. The figures reveal strong growth in 2016 from Canada and the US. The US remains Britain’s most valuable tourism source market, with 4.3 million visits, up 7% on 2015. In addition, there was a record 25.3 million visits from the European Union in 2016, up 4% on 2015. Overall, there were 7.5 million more visits in 2016 than 2010, an increase of 25%. The figures show a boost in holiday visits to the UK towards the end of 2016 with a record 3.2 million visits from October to December, up 11% on the same period in 2015. Inbound visits to friends and family also saw strong growth throughout 2016 with a record-breaking 11.5 million visits, up 10% on

2015. Latest flight booking data shows that 2017 is off to a strong start, with flight bookings to the UK up 16% for February to April compared to the same period last year. Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said: “The industry makes a significant contribution to our economy, and we will continue to support tourism to grow the sector further and promote the UK across the world.” VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe added: “The strong growth in inbound visits demonstrates British tourism’s continued ability to compete for international visitors and deliver economic growth across our nations and regions. “We must seize the opportunity to build on this, boosting visitor spending by driving home the message of welcome and value particularly in our high spending markets such as China and the US and the valuable European market.”

Spending Increase in Restaurants And Hotels For The First Time In 5 Years FIGURES RELEASED by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that UK households spent more than £45 a week on restaurants and hotels for the time in five years, an increase of £1.80 compared to last year. The survey examined how, UK households spent their money after they had paid for essential items, commonly referred to as discretionary spending. In the financial year ending 2016 (2015/16), UK households spent an average of £45.10 on restaurants and hotels. This is an

increase of £1.80 when compared with the previous year, where figures have been adjusted for inflation, and is significant at the 10% level. High levels of employment and rising disposable income are considered to be the factors influencing this increase. This category includes spending on goods and services such as: • Restaurant and café meals (£17.30) • Alcoholic drinks consumed away from home (£7.50) • Takeaway meals (£4.70) • Accommodation services (£8.90)

The Caterer, Licensee & Hotelier News Group is published by RBC Publishing Ltd, Suite 4, Roddis House, Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth, Dorset. Contributions are welcome for consideration, however, no responsibility will be accepted for loss or damage. Views expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editorial team. Whilst every care is taken when compiling this publication to ensure accuracy, the publisher will assume no responsibility for any effects, errors or omissions therefrom. All rights reserved, reproduction is forbidden unless written permission is obtained. All material is assumed copyright free unless otherwise advised.

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CLH News #198 March 2017  

Issue #198 of CLH News - the leading monthly trade publication for the independent hotel, pub and restaurant sector of the hospitality indus...

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