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22nd September 2021

Industry leaders look to future at UKHospitality Conference

Written by: Edward Waddell
Business leaders, industry experts and policymakers joined operators and suppliers at UKHospitality’s annual conference to discuss the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the theme ‘Recovery & Beyond’ delegates heard from keynote speaker Paul Scully MP who said hospitality’s recovery was critical to underpinning the UK’s wider economic recovery.

Other speakers included Karl Chessell director at CGA, Robin Mills managing director of Compass Group and Steve Richards chief executive of Parkdean Resorts and chair of UKHospitality.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed delegates and called for additional Government support to help safeguard the sector’s recovery and rebuild resilience in the form of a permanently lower VAT for hospitality and tourism.

The panel discussion saw leaders in the industry look ahead with positivity despite grappling with a number of ongoing challenges, including staff shortages and supply disruption.

The last 18 months have seen hospitality lose over two thirds of its normal revenue, 10% of its businesses and headcount fall by almost 30%.

Nicholls commented: “We will aim to consolidate the profile the crisis has given the sector as a critical part of the UK economy and the perception of the role we can play as a vital partner with Government to deliver on the broader agenda needed to help UK Plc recover, build back better and stronger.

“With the right support we can get back to doing what we do best – bringing life, light and heart back to our communities – and return to our decade long record of investment and job creation.”