A planned merger of the Association of Multiple Licensed Retailers (ALMR) and British Hospitality Association (BHA) has been unveiled, which could create a powerful new body called UKHospitality.
The proposals for a merger have been recommended to members and an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) will be held in February to approve the plans.
It would make UKHospitality a voice for the UK’s third largest employment sector, bringing together businesses including hotels, restaurants, contract caterers, entertainment and visitor attractions.
It would also take up the call for a dedicated minister to champion the industry at home and abroad, as well as a government deal to support skills and productivity.
Announcing the proposals, Kate Nicholls, proposed CEO-elect of UKHospitality said: "This sector is a vital, dynamic economic powerhouse whose importance is clear in our communities, our high streets and our everyday lives. It is one of our fastest growing, most productive industries and last year it delivered one in eight of all new jobs.
"Faced with unprecedented political and regulatory pressures, now more than ever the sector requires the strongest and most effective voice within government. UKHospitality will be that vital voice and I am relishing the prospect of working with members to deliver both strong and connected relationships with government and a shared ambition to reshape the future of hospitality."
Alongside the merger proposals, the two bodies have released new figures emphasising the size, scale and importance of the sector and its continued potential for growth. The sector is forecast to grow by 4.3%, generating 19,000 additional jobs by 2020.
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