The hospitality industry is one step closer to getting a dedicated Minister for Hospitality, after winning the backing of MPs in a debate on Monday.
This is welcome news for the hospitality industry after the most challenging of years, and a triumph for the #seatatthetable campaign which has quickly gathered momentum.
The hospitality industry is the UK’s 3rd largest employer, and directly responsible for £3million jobs, yet currently, representation is split between two government departments - the department for business, energy and industrial strategy and the department for digital, culture, media and sport.
The #seatatthetable campaign was created by a group of hospitality professionals who strongly believe that the industry needs a strong and clear voice, and representation in government with operational experience and a deep understanding of the sector. So, a petition calling for a Minister of Hospitality was created in December 2020.
The campaign represents a wide variety of hospitality businesses. The news often focusses on pubs and restaurants, but #seatatthetable is keen to ensure the voices of hotel B&B, café and bar owners are heard too.
When the petition went to debate, it had received over 200,000 signatures – more than double its original target, and it’s still receiving signatures.
The campaign team is urging more hospitality businesses to get on board and keep the momentum going. The team hopes that the notion will now be recommended to the Prime Minister, who holds ultimate responsibility for making the decision.
Following the debate, Robin Hutson (founder of the campaign) confirmed on Twitter that a question will now be raised in the House of Lords in February, regarding progress.
Grant Seaton, Senior Lending Manager at The Cumberland says, “This can only be a good thing for the hospitality sector as it has shown what a vital part of the economy it is, not only for our local communities in Cumbria, but nationwide.”
Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism adds: “The debate has highlighted the recognition that there now is for the importance and value of the sector, how critical it is to the economy. In the debate more than 20 cross party MPs showed a strong understanding and a commitment for a motion on the subject.
CT have a strong relationship with the DCMS and welcome the support of the Tourism Minister but it is critical that the whole of the industry - hospitality and the wider tourism economy – receives a higher standing and a stronger voice in the Government Ministerial system and we will continue to press for this to be the case. “