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Hospitality Sector has potential to deliver up to 5,000 new jobs over the next 10 years

Colin Neill CEO Hospitality Ulster

Hospitality Ulster – the organisation which has developed from Pubs of Ulster representing pubs, restaurants and hotels – has said that the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland has the potential to create up to 5,000 new jobs in the next 10 years.

That would bring the number of people employed in the food and drink element of the hospitality sector to around 50,000.

Speaking at the launch of Hospitality Ulster (21st May, 8am), Chief Executive Colin Neill was confident that a hospitality sector which develops it skills base and becomes more professional in its approach to business will make a greater contribution to the NI economy in terms of jobs, wealth creation and investment.

Hospitality Ulster will represent the entire sector under one umbrella membership organisation and will provide a range of support services and resources such as legal advice, updates on regulation changes, property information and accountancy issues among others.

As a lead industry voice, Hospitality Ulster will also continue to be a strong advocate for the sector in terms of influencing government, working with stakeholders and ensuring that the sector identifies and removes barriers to growth.

Latest key statistics of the Hospitality Sector:

· 1 in 20 jobs in Northern Ireland;

· £70.5 million payments in Corporation Tax (Pubs (£16.2m), Hotels (£19m), Restaurants (£35.1m) and Event Management (£0.1m));

· 60,000 total jobs (Direct, Indirect and Induced) – 45,000 can be attributed to food and drink element;

· £653.4million wage contribution of the hospitality sector (Direct, Indirect and Induced);

· Contributes £17.9m in business rates in Northern Ireland.

*Statistics taken from Hospitality Ulster commissioned report by Oxford Economics ‘Economic Impact Assessment of NI’s hospitality sector’ – May 2015

Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster, Chief Executive said today:

“The hospitality sector is a key pillar of our economy. Not only does it support around 60,000 total jobs of which 45,000 are sustained by the food and drink element, it supports £653million in wages and contributes to the Northern Ireland economy to the tune of about £1.2billion.”

“Despite the loss of jobs during the economic downturn and sluggish growth recently, we now have the opportunity to really improve upon a sector which has so much promise. Weak projected growth over the next decade is growth nonetheless and it is up to us to bring forward a solution to buck the forecast estimates.”

“The evolution to Hospitality Ulster reflects the changes in our members’ businesses and the potential to support areas of the sector which were previously under represented.”

“Hospitality Ulster has set up a strategic advisory panel made up of key players from the hospitality sector to assist in developing the industry. We look forward to continuing to work with government to help create more jobs, more wealth and contribute even more to the local economy.”

“Our ongoing campaigns such on cutting Tourism VAT, reducing red tape and business rates, licensing reform, promoting café culture and food hygiene ratings legislation, among others, will now be strengthened with the creation of the Hospitality Ulster umbrella brand.”

Olga Walls, Hospitality Ulster, Chair and Owner of The Derg Arms in Castlederg added:

“This is an exciting time for the hospitality industry as we have evolved to create an organisation which better represents our members and their businesses.”

“We recognise that pubs, hotels and restaurants here have undergone significant changes over the past number of years and as the voice of that collective industry we aim to promote the work of our members to safeguard and protect their businesses.”

“Adapting to consumer trends and the ever shifting economic climate is essential to ensuring a vibrant sector. Recently we have studied the industry and listened to our members. Where once our license type described our business as a place to drink, eat or sleep, today the sector operates a multitude of business models based on much more.”

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