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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 28th Dec 2016 - BHA – increasing pressure on sector as inbound tourism visitor numbers decline again
BHA – increasing pressure on sector as inbound tourism visitor numbers decline again: The number of leisure tourists coming to the UK has declined for the second consecutive month while outbound holiday travel is growing strongly, according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Travel Monitor. The monitor, launched by the BHA last month, has revealed inbound holiday passengers visiting the UK are in decline while outbound holiday passengers are increasing, suggesting a worrying trend for the domestic UK tourism and leisure industry. Some predictions claimed the fall in the price of sterling after the EU referendum would lead to an increase in visitors to the UK but monitor has shown this is not the case. There are 450,000 fewer holiday passengers year to date versus the same period in 2015 compared with the 400,000 drop reported in the first monitor last month. By contrast, outbound holiday passenger numbers continued to grow strongly, suggesting a slowdown in the UK staycation market. A combination of lower inbound holiday passengers and higher outbound holiday passengers is likely putting pressure on consumer-facing businesses. The BHA Travel Monitor, published monthly and quarterly, also highlighted a year-on-year decrease in overall UK holiday spend by overseas visitors while UK spend overseas is up more than 10% year to date. BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “We launched The BHA Travel Monitor so that we can provide, through detailed and structured analysis of passenger data, a true picture of hospitality and tourism performance. Our analysis has shown that there is increasing pressure on the industry through lower inbound holiday passengers and higher outbound holiday passengers. With political and economic uncertainty increasing it is more important than ever to ensure UK tourism can compete. The UK continues to have on average twice the tourism VAT rate across Europe. Alongside businesses investing in the Apprenticeship Levy, the National Living Wage and rising business rates, this signals concern for businesses in the industry, four out of five of which are SMEs. The BHA Travel Monitor sets a worrying trend for the short term future of the hospitality and tourism industry which, as the fourth largest sector employing 4.49 million people, is crucial to the UK economy.”

CAMRA asks government to give pubs special protection: The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is urging the government to do more to stop pubs from being demolished or closed. CAMRA is pushing for ministers to put pubs into a special class so that owners must always seek planning permission for a change of use or demolition. A total of 2,000 pubs have been listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), but CAMRA said local groups had to spend hours in a lengthy and clunky process to save their pubs. ACVs can be granted on a building with a proven value to a local community, such as a library or post office, but out of just under 4,000 ACVs, half of them have been granted for pubs. CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: “It is heartening that so many communities across England have spent so much time going through the process of nominating their pub as an ACV. This shows a huge appetite for protecting pubs, which are more than just businesses – they are invaluable landmarks in our communities. Unfortunately, the ACV process can be time-consuming, fraught with difficulties and at the end of the day is only a temporary measure – listings must be renewed every five years to maintain protection. It simply doesn’t make sense that pub-goers have to jump through these extra hoops when it is clear that so many communities overwhelmingly want a say on the future of their much-loved pub. All we are asking for a level playing field where a planning application on a pub has to go through the full planning process.”

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