Willie Macleod, Executive Director of BHA Schotland commented on the Election results in Scotland:
“The British Hospitality Association in Scotland looks forward to working with the new Scottish Government. It is heartening to note the importance to the Scottish economy which the Government attaches to tourism – hospitality embraces many businesses in all parts of the country – large and small, locally-owned to international corporations which have chosen to invest here.
Hospitality directly employs 256,000 people in Scotland (an increase of 15% since 2010), supports a further 153,000 jobs in the supply chain and contributes £4.6bn in GVA. While our industry is resilient it is not immune to competitive pressures. BHA Scotland has high expectations of the new Government in providing support to the industry to achieve greater growth, improved productivity and enhanced skills, particularly for young people.
“We can work together to achieve greater growth by:
- Ensuring that any new regulation is necessary, relevant and proportionate and that all regulations are interpreted and enforced in a fair and consistent manner;
- Creating a competitive tax regime through the review of business rates which needs to be robust and far-reaching, enacting the promised reduction in Air Passenger Duty and supporting the case which BHA is making to the UK Government to reduce VAT on tourism services;
- Giving certainty by dismissing any prospect of the introduction of tourist (or bed) taxes;
- Recognising the impact of cost increases (such as the Living Wage) on profitability and return on investment, and
- Engaging with the tourism industry to find a sustainable solution to the funding of local destination management and marketing organisations.”
David Chapman, Executive Director, BHA Wales said:
“The British Hospitality Association in Wales looks forward to working with the new Welsh Government and new Welsh Assembly Members to further develop and extend the already strong relationship that we have built with them in the previous term. This relationship has been based on a widening recognition of Hospitality’s crucial role as a powerhouse within the Welsh economy, accounting for more than 135,000 jobs and providing considerable support for the rural, coastal and urban communities in every part of Wales.
“We share proudly with the politicians of Wales a strong agenda to create more jobs right across Wales, to train our young people with essential, transferable skills that will ensure a career path for life within an exciting global industry and add industry knowledge and expertise to add value and maximise any available industry support.
“We will be keen to open a discussion immediately to see how we can benefit and enhance the new Government’s policies for the sector and how we can help Government to use every tool at its disposal to keep our businesses competitive, efficient and supported.”