Hoteliers urge Government to be more hospitable

Hoteliers in Bristol are pleading with the Government to be more hospitable towards their businesses in the wake of growing financial pressures.
This month saw an increase in the National Living Wage which businesses have no choice but to try to absorb but at what cost!
The Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) says the Government must do more to support the nation’s hospitality sector, which he said was once again left out in the cold in the spring budget.
Prior to the budget, the BHA, trade body UKHospitality and more than 100 businesses wrote an open letter to the Chancellor outlining the support needed to help their businesses survive.
More than 40 MPs signed a letter to Jeremy Hunt urging him to support the hospitality and tourism industries.
But BHA Chair Raphael Herzog said: “For the most part, all our pleas fell on deaf ears, and now that the wage increases have come into effect, it’s becoming even more challenging for hospitality businesses.
“Hotels are having to simply absorb the wage increases, but at what detriment? This week they said that the bills for going out, food and retail are increasing, so is the living wage increase good news to everyone? Certainly not.
“We’re saying now that enough is enough and the Government needs to open its eyes and fully appreciate the significant contribution the hospitality sector make to the UK economy, and provide some meaningful support.
“UKHospitality recently outlined three ways in which the Government can quickly ease the challenges we face and we would really like to see some action taken in these areas.
“Ever since the end of pandemic lockdown restrictions, we’ve been asking the Government to re-introduce a reduced rate of VAT on hospitality, leisure and tourism; returning VAT to 12.5% will match the average of our continental competitors.
“The Government could also introduce a permanently-reduced business rates multiplier for our sector, at a rate of 30p in the pound.
“And to help us cope with the record increase in the National Living Wage, we would like to see a temporary reduction in the rate of employer National Insurance contributions.
“These measures would provide a much-needed show of support for our sector and a morale-boosting vote of confidence in our businesses.
“We’ve had a reasonable Easter holiday period, but the fact that the school holidays were split over three weeks in different regions didn’t really help as this means corporate and events were limited to only two weeks in April instead of three.
“But there are some positive things happening, as long as our businesses are able to keep going long enough in order to be able to benefit from them.
“The recent re-opening of the Bristol Beacon entertainments venue has been positive, and we warmly welcome news that the Bristol Balloon Fiesta is returning this year, as this always brings a huge number of visitors to the city.

“We were thrilled to learn that Ashton Gate Stadium has some big concert plans again, so there are plenty of causes for cautious optimism, but it would be even better if could finally get the helping hand from Government that we have been calling for, for such a long time.”
To find out more about the BHA, visit