Kate Nicholls: 'Hospitality an economic powerhouse the Government should be eager to embrace'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Kate Nicholls: 'Hospitality an economic powerhouse the Government should be eager to embrace'

Related tags Kate nicholls Government ukhospitality

A report from UKHospitality suggests hospitality could increase its direct contribution to the economy by £29bn and create 500,000 new jobs by 2027, providing it receives the right support.

The economic report, produced by Ignite Economics and launched at UKHospitality’s summer conference this week, reveals that in the past six years hospitality has increased its annual economic contribution by £20bn to £93bn.

It also shows that employment in the sector has risen to 3.5 million, making hospitality the third largest employer in the country.

“These figures show just how much of an economic powerhouse hospitality is,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

In 2022, in spite of post-pandemic challenges still stifling growth, hospitality contributed £54bn in tax receipts to the Treasury, generated £20bn worth of exports and £7bn in business investment, according to the report.

“Despite going through a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis over the past six years, as a sector we have continued to overcome challenges to increase our value to the economy and cement our position as a major employer,” continues Nicholls.

“It’s essential that our role as a strategically important sector for the nation is recognised by politicians, and that we work together to help grow our economic contribution, create more jobs and enhance our offering in communities.

“This report shows what can be achieved if we can stimulate growth, bear down on inflation and have an enabling and supportive policy environment in place for hospitality. The potential for the sector to deliver another £29bn to the economy annually is an opportunity that the Government should be eager to embrace.

“I urge the Government to work even more closely with us, to seize the opportunities available and unleash the incredible potential of hospitality. This means tackling short-term issues that are stifling further growth, like enormous energy costs, food and drink inflation and damaging labour shortages, and really looking at the long-term structural issues holding businesses back, across business rates, licensing and planning.

“I’m incredibly proud of the resilience our sector has shown in recent years and the fact we continue to be a significant source of economic growth.

“Our sector has a long track-record of growing rapidly and driving the economy – these figures back that up and I hope the potential of hospitality is harnessed by the Government.”

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