Hospitality festival aims to boost best practice and innovation
The hospitality industry has a chance to look forward to a brighter future when the Festival of Hospitality gets underway next month.
It takes place in the wake of what the industry has described as a disappointing mini-Budget for the sector with Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng declining to take action on business rates and VAT.
The Festival of Hospitality returns with events that run for six weeks, from 10 October to 18 November.
It will include hotel and site tours, guest chefs, digital future trends round-ups, forums, chats with experts in the field, workshops to improve upskilling and social networking events.
The event is organised by business development firm Always Thinking in collaboration with the wider hospitality community and will provide a forum for hotel and F&B operators, designers, architects, developers, investors and thought leaders to share ideas for the productivity and growth of the sector.
The festival was created in 2021 and the series of events take place both in real life and online. The line-up is designed to spark debate, open up conversations and leave a lasting legacy for a better-connected industry.
Disappointment over VAT
Business operators and industry bodies have regularly called for a cut in VAT since the UK’s hospitality and tourism VAT rate was raised from 12.5 per cent to 20 per cent in April, making it among one of the highest in Europe.
There was no other mention of VAT in the mini-Budget, while the axing of business rates will only apply to newly occupied premises in the Government’s new low-tax zones it plans to create.
Commenting on the measures, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the lobby group UKHospitality, said: “The chancellor committed to making the UK a globally competitive tax regime, yet overlooked two obvious levers to achieve that, through lower VAT and business rates reliefs.”
There was however some relief for businesses with the scrapping of the National Insurance rise which will reduce employment costs and the freeze on alcohol duty.
For help and advice on hospitality industry matters, please call our team today.