Travelodge boss demands MPs to “fight” for hospitality sector

Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge UK, has called on 106 different MPs to “stand up and fight” for the hospitality sector in the House of Commons.

Celebrating English Tourism Week, which began on Saturday (March 16th), Mr Hearn wrote to the MPs from important tourism constituencies with a ten-point plan on how to develop the industry. Claiming that 300,000 new hospitality jobs could be created by 2020, the Travelodge boss wants tourism to be bought up in the Whitehall agenda.

Mr Hearn wrote: “The industry needs more than just lip service, as we have a huge opportunity within our grasp to help the economy recover. A lack of action is costing jobs, growth and investment, and whilst we dither, our European neighbours and the USA are successfully pursuing growth via forward-thinking tourism strategies.

“Our ten-point plan is about positioning tourism as a key element of a sustainable economic recovery, so we hope this provides the catalyst for MPs to stand up and fight for it."

As part of the proposed plans, Mr Hearn argues that not only should the tourism industry be given the right framework to develop but it should be moved from the Department of Culture Media & Sports to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Furthermore, visa applications should be made easier in order to allow the UK to improve its competition with other countries, and a taskforce should be established which would create a departmental scheme with various tourism partners. This group would be led by a tourism minister.

Campaigners argue that the tourism trade can help to alleviate the tough economic climate which the UK has had to face in recent years.

Travelodge further revealed its commitment to the hospitality sector earlier this month by celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. The hotel company pledged to create 100 apprenticeships, 500 new jobs and 50 work experience positions by 2015.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency to help source hospitality recruitment jobs.

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