Urgent inquiry launched to support hospitality businesses

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism announced it is launching an urgent inquiry to establish the best ways to support recovering businesses in light of the annoying pandemic.

The inquiry will assess what is needed to get hospitality businesses “back on their feet at the right time for the country”, and work to provide recommendations to guide the government as it begins to think about recovery. 

It will examine several critical areas, including: the right timing for the reopening of the sector; business support to help the sector transition to the “new normality”; guidance for businesses to help them get ready for trading; supply chains and marketing the sector.

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism, Steve Double MP said: “Collectively, tourism and hospitality add around £80 billion to the UK’s economy and in normal times employ 3.3 million people.

“These sectors were two of the first to feel the impact of first social distancing and then the lockdown and businesses have been hit hard in every region.”

He added: “It is vital that, as the danger of Covid-19 passes, these businesses are able to hit the ground running and return to full strength as rapidly as possible. 

“Ensuring these sectors get back on their feet quickly should be one of the government’s top priorities.”

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “Hospitality and tourism businesses provide employment, investment and opportunities in every region of the UK. 

“That means that there is no corner of the country which has not seen job losses, shuttered venues and communities anxiously looking to the future.”

She added: “Our sector is in a unique position to begin the rebuilding process, both economically and socially, once we emerge and the time is right. This inquiry will focus on how we get restarted rather than necessarily when.

“It is clear we will only be able to recover if the right plan is in place, the government understands the scale of the task and the opportunities it presents, and the correct support is provided – particularly the extension of the job retention scheme to protect jobs and wages.”

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