UKHospitality, the single, authoritative voice for the hospitality sector, has hailed the launch of a Sector Deal for Tourism as a landmark moment. The announcement by the Government will see the sector prioritised and recognised as a key driver of future economic growth and vital to the prosperity of the UK.

Launched by the Prime Minister today, the Sector Deal is an agreement with Government to prioritise and support the sector as a driver of economic growth and job creation. It will see the creation of a Hospitality and Tourism Skills Board, promoting hospitality as a career of choice, supporting and funding a three-year industry-led skills and recruitment campaign.

In addition, the deal would see local Tourism Zones created, a new Business Events strategy and significant investment in infrastructure and connectivity.

Kate Nicholls, CEO UKHospitality, said: “This Sector Deal marks a tremendous moment for all of us in the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries. The move will be absolutely critical in changing the perception of the sector within Government and the wider public opinion, and acknowledges that hospitality is key to the country’s economic growth.

“Tourism and hospitality are inextricably linked, with over 80% of tourism jobs within hospitality, so this will have a positive impact on our ability to recruit and retain the people we need. UKHospitality has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Government understands the importance of our vital industry and we look forward to continuing this partnership, with positive action to secure the future workforce for our sector.”

Nick Varney, UKHospitality Chairman and CEO of Merlin Entertainments, said: “I welcome the announcement of this Sector Deal, which is an acknowledgement by Government of the critical role tourism and hospitality plays in the future of the UK economy. Realisation of this opportunity coincides with consumers’ increasing desire for experiences; whether that’s a high-quality stay, a delicious meal or a fun day out.

“I hope this agreement will act as a catalyst for greater cooperation and connectivity between our industry, Government and other stakeholder groups in supporting tourism and hospitality as the choice for investment and the place for an exciting and rewarding career.”

Co-Chair of the Tourism Industry Council, Simon Vincent OBE, who is EVP & President, EMEA, of Hilton added: “The Tourism Sector Deal is an important vote of confidence in the UK tourism industry, providing a long-term vision which reflects the skills and innovation in our sector and will help ensure we continue to thrive in a highly competitive global market.”

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