Tourism & Business news

Hospitality Ulster meets with Minister for the Economy

From left, Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds and Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

Hospitality Ulster has welcomed direct engagement with the Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds MLA. The Minister met with the chief executive and Board of Hospitality Ulster this week in Belfast with a range of issues being discussed and the sector’s response to Coronavirus remaining a top priority.

“There are several barriers to growth hanging over the hospitality sector such as the out of kilter rates system, access to labour post Brexit, and a competitive disadvantage on Hospitality VAT, which has now all been compounded by the concerns over Coronavirus,” said Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster.

“We reiterated to the Minister that the hospitality industry is taking nothing for granted and carrying out all the preventative measures it can. We also updated the Minister that we have issued guidance which will be updated as the situation develops and that we continue to operate high standards of hygiene and cleanliness, encouraging our members to reinforce those standards at all times.

“Now is the time we need the most support from government to see us through this concerning period.

“Pubs, restaurants and hotels are highly susceptible to the impact of people not travelling, visiting places or going out. We have already seen a number of impacts on the sector in Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland and we are right to be worried about what the next number of weeks and months might hold.

“This is the time of year when many in the hospitality sector feel the strain of mounting invoices and rates bills. Coronavirus could not have come at a worse time and we will need assistance to weather this fearful period, especially if we are hit by cash flow issues.”

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