Hotels call for govt support

London

Hotels in the UK have written to the prime minister asking for “an ambitious programme of business support and investment”.

Suggested measures included deferring tax liabilities, extending the furlough until October and extending the hospitality business rates holiday to March 2022 ahead of reform of the business tax system.

According to UKHospitality, sales across the sector were expected to be 56% lower than last year, reducing revenues by £73.4bn, with half of businesses not expecting to reach breakeven until the end of next year.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “Our sector has been a high-profile casualty of this crisis and businesses are only now just beginning to reopen.

“For those businesses that have survived, the hard work begins now. We cannot assume that we are now in the clear just because our doors are open again. Many businesses have taken huge hits and hundreds of thousands of jobs are still in the balance.

“If we want to make a real success of this reopening, keep businesses alive and jobs secure, then the government needs to provide support. Support from the government has been extremely helpful in keeping venues afloat and it has saved jobs. There is no possibility of stopping now, though. Anything less than a full show of support from the government risks undoing much of the good work that has already been done and will cause lasting damage to employment and the UK economy.

“We urge the government to act decisively and positively to give hospitality the best possible chance of not only surviving the crisis but thriving in the aftermath.”