Being such a large and vibrant industry, it’s only right that the hospitality sector has a sufficiently strong body to represent its interests – something that British Hospitality Association (BHA) and Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) have recognised with their plans to merge under the name UKHospitality.
The announcement comes at a key time as the UK navigates the choppy waters of Brexit.
Kate Nicholls, proposed CEO-elect of UKHospitality, said of the plans: ‘Faced with unprecedented political and regulatory pressures, now more than ever it requires the strongest and most effective voice within government.
'UKHospitality will be that vital voice and I am relishing the prospect of working with members to deliver both strong and connected relationships with government and a shared ambition to reshape the future of hospitality.’
The new body will represent the interests of all hospitality businesses, which, as well as on-trade venues, will include coffee shops, leisure parks, contract caterers, and entertainment and visitor attractions.
Emphasising the importance of the hospitality sector to the UK economy, UKHospitality also released figures stating that the industry generates £38bn in tax, and represents 10% of UK employment.
Members have received the merger proposals, and an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) has been called in February to approve them.