Travelodge, the UK based hotel chain, has released a report on the history of travel and tourism in the UK since the Second World War.
The report shows that UK tourism has been resilient against most of the economic downturns and has even outperformed the country’s economy in the last five years. While the country’s GDP has increased by 8 percent from 2007 to 2011, the tourism industry has reported an increase in revenues of 12.6 percent, to around £40 billion, which is 10 percent of the country’s GDP.
Travelodge chief executive officer, Grant Hearn, has recently written to Vince Cable, the UK secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), to share a ten-point plan for boosting the economy through travel industry growth.
Hearn said, ‘Our report confirms UK tourism has successfully weathered the recession to date and outperformed other key sectors which is great news. However as one of Britain’s biggest business sectors it deserves the chance to unlock its true potential.
We have a real opportunity within our grasp, which can play a significant part in helping our economy to recover; our lack of immediate action is costing jobs, growth and investment. It is in our national economic interest and this has to happen now. We need to be treated as a serious business sector.
Our ten-point plan is about awakening the potential of the sector and positioning tourism as a key element of a successful and sustainable economic recovery. I welcome an opportunity to discuss this proposal with Mr. Cable and his Department.’
Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said, ‘Across the UK, thousands of hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, businesses small and large, depend on the Government to back them. Our industry has the potential to create over 200,000 jobs in the UK by 2015.
All the evidence shows that our tourism and hospitality industry is a success story in this recession. There are measures that Government could take which would create more employment and boost the economy – such as cutting tourism VAT to 5 percent and the ongoing initiative to improve the tourist visa process. It is essential that there is a more co-ordinated approach for tourism in government.’