Hospitality & Tourism APPG Inquiry into how the UK’s town & city centres can rebound after the pandemic

The stated purpose of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism is “to examine key issues, opportunities and challenges facing the hospitality sector across the UK”.

As previously reported by us, on 12 June 2020, the APPG published its “Pathways to Recovery” Report, researched and written by UKHospitality.

Under the heading “After the Vaccine – Saving the UK’s Town and City Centres Post COVID-19”, the APPG has now launched an inquiry “into the UK’s town and city centres and how they can rebound after the pandemic” that runs until 11.59pm on Wednesday 7 April 2021. Its introductory comments read as follows:

The hospitality and tourism sectors were hit first and hit hardest by the economic impacts of the pandemic, with restrictions still being in place on these sectors at time of writing. Over the last year, as a result of COVID-19, we have seen a hollowing out of city and town centres across the UK, accelerating trends that had already been challenging high street businesses.

Before the pandemic, town and city centres accounted for around 60% of the country’s economic output and more than half of the population. These areas will be vital in the economic recovery of the UK. This inquiry will look to tackle a wide range of topics impacting the UK’s cities and towns, before concluding with a report and recommendations outlining the support that these vital sectors .

The ‘Written Consultation Questions’ and other information from the APPG website are set out below:

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism has launched an inquiry into the UK’s town and city centres and how they can rebound after the pandemic.

Over the last year, we have seen a hollowing out of city and town centres across the UK, accelerating trends that had already been challenging high street businesses. Before the pandemic, town and city centres accounted for around 60% of the country’s economic output and more than half of the population. With people urged to work from home during the pandemic, central areas have become deserted during working hours and in the evenings, with hospitality businesses feeling the brunt of this impact.

The Government’s commitment to ‘build back better’ and ‘build back greener’ provides a welcome opportunity to holistically review the future of hospitality and tourism in city and town centres. This inquiry will look to tackle a wide range of topics impacting the UK’s cities and towns, including how businesses operate, taxation and legislation that impacts sector businesses, their social role and how these sectors can be promoted in the future to maximise their growth. We will conclude with a report and recommendations outlining the key need of businesses within these vital sectors.

The timing is crucial – even with the vaccine sparking optimism of a speedier return to trading, the legacy of COVID-19 will live on. The pandemic has thrown light on a range of regulations and business practices which are no longer fit for purpose and which have or will hamper recovery efforts. This inquiry will look at the prospects of the UK’s hospitality and tourism sectors, outlining the support they need in the short term, but examining how the Government can maximise the potential of these sectors by creating a positive trading environment.

These consultation questions have been devised to look at three separate areas. Firstly, we will examine how businesses operate, secondly, we will look at conditions for trade, before finally looking at how we can promote hospitality and tourism in our town and city centres.

If you wish to respond to our consultation, please respond to the relevant questions below and send your submissions in to Richard Clifford at [email protected].

The deadline for submissions to this consultation will be Wednesday 7th April 2021 at 11:59pm. 

CONSULTATION QUESTIONS

The response that you submit to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism will be used to inform the group’s report, due for publication in April 2021. By responding to the consultation, you will provide the group with important information which will ultimately help members make recommendations to Government. All respondents to the consultation will have the name of their business/organisation included in the annex of the report, unless they request not to be listed.

Please respond to whichever questions you feel are relevant to your business/organisation. Consider where action might be needed from businesses, customers and governments, local and national. Please also identify your organisation or if you wish to respond to the consultation anonymously. To respond, please contact Richard Clifford on [email protected]

Business Operation

 1. What legislative hurdles are faced by town and city centres that inhibit the growth of hospitality & tourism? In your answer, please consider a) licensing regulation b) planning regulation c) food regulations d) local legislation.

2. What legislative support can be afforded to businesses operating in town and city centres to optimise their capacity to drive much needed economic growth, employment, and prosperity?

3. What role is your business currently playing in meeting green or climate goals? What if any plans to you have in this area?

Conditions for Trade

4. What three conditions in the economy do you feel that the hospitality and tourism sectors need for long term growth and post COVID-19 recovery?

5. Do you feel that business taxation, including business rates, across different sectors, is fair and proportionate? Please explain your answer.

6. The growth of the digital economy has changed how businesses operate in the hospitality and tourism sectors – especially booking and short term letting platforms. What is the biggest impact that this has had on sector businesses?

7. COVID-19 has altered the relationship between landlords and tenants. What needs to be done to reset the relationship to a fair and equitable one?

Attraction and promotion of the sectors

8. How can demand be stimulated for hospitality and tourism businesses in town and city centres? What do a) businesses b) DMOs c) Local Authorities d) National Governments need to do to help support tourism in these areas?

9. Do you feel the social value of hospitality is valued? What more can be done to promote the social benefits of hospitality to consumers?

10. Hospitality and tourism provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in town and city centres, how do we make those jobs even better and more attractive to prospective employees?

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