Spearheading the hospitality sector’s representation on the strategic, structural and regulatory issues, the chief executive of the newly formed body UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, tells Coinslot just what the future campaigns must be.
The 2017 Parliamentary Coastal Communities inquiry report showed that 250 million visits are made to the UK’s coast each year, generating £17 billion to the economy. The inquiry found that hospitality and tourism is particularly important in coastal communities, with one in ten people in coastal areas employed in hospitality. Coastal hospitality is an important part of the UK’s hospitality sector, making a significant contribution, but the hospitality sector faces a number of challenges and coastal areas are no exception.
There have been myriad cost pressures in recent years which have severely impacted the sector’s ability to grow and invest. It is the job of UKHospitality to ensure that the Government has a comprehensive picture o the social and economic impacts of policies such as the National Living Wage, business rates and Brexit on the third largest private sector employer in the UK.
UKHospitality will ensure that the Government has a comprehensive picture of the social and economic impacts of policies on sector, including coastal hospitality. We have three clear objectives: firstly, creating a tax system which is fit for purpose, one which reflects the realities of business in the 21st century and allows a level playing field for traditional high street, coastal, rural and community-based businesses which now compete with online companies; secondly, a regulatory regime which allows the hospitality sector to focus on growth rather than red tape; and finally, developing the hospitality workforce of the future.
An additional ask is a flexible, dynamic planning regime that supports coastal businesses, allowing them to grow and to benefit employees and the local area – that is a key. recommendation of the Coastal Communities inquiry.
Our ambition is to secure the future of a thriving coastal business sector, with hospitality as a key part of this. But while there are differences between costal economies and those in urban environments, the present operating climates are being impacted by many of the same factors. Both settings have to prosper, though, if the UK is to make an economic success of Brexit, and hospitality, as a key driver of the economy, needs the operating environment in which to be able to thrive.
The UK’s seaside towns are in a good position to capitalise on the blossoming popularity of staycations that are seeing more and more people, concerned with economic instability, or just looking to enjoy the country’s fantastic resorts, spend more of their leisure time at home.
Seaside resorts and family entertainment centres ring with the sentiment and nostalgia that many Brits are looking for when holidaying abroad but, similarly, the uniqueness of such venues is one of the key attractions to foreign visitors, who recognise them as truly British institutions, and seek them out. It would be a shame were family entertainment centres not given the opportunities to revive and thrive. We are certainly doing our part to make sure that such venues are given that opportunity.
The UK’s coastal communities are in important tourism destination and, as such, form a crucial part of its hospitality offering. We are looking forward to working in partnership with all sectors as Family Entertainment Centres, attractions, piers etc to promote and support this integral part of the economy.