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Published on : Friday, November 22, 2013
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the leading hospitality and tourism agenda- setter, the British Hospitality Association, has joined leaders from Britain’s Top 100 companies and organisations to pledge support for the newly-launched ‘Let Britain Fly’ Campaign.
The Campaign, which warns that the need for more airport capacity is urgent, aims to build cross-party political support to build new runways in the UK. This, it argues, will enable Britain to retain its status as Europe’s aviation hub. Without a new runway, campaigners fear that the UK will lose its competitive edge.
‘Let Britain Fly’ has captured the imagination of industry bosses from leading UK-based companies, including Asda, Boots, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Next and WPP as well as travel organisations including the pilots’ union BALPA, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK).
Says Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association: “It is crucial that Britain continues to evolve both commercially and internationally, and building new runways is key to modernization. Competition is greater than ever before, and connectivity to both established and emerging countries is crucial for the hospitality and tourism industry, both in terms of attracting tourists to the UK and building business.”
A report from ‘Let Britain Fly’ says: “If our economy is to flourish in the future it is vital we continue to be one of the best connected countries in the world. This is why we believe Britain remaining Europe’s most important aviation hub is of strategic national importance. If our politicians fail to act there is a real risk that our economy will lose its competitive edge. Aviation policy should form part of a wider transport and infrastructure plan which reconciles different economic priorities across Britain, with modernised aviation and transport infrastructure contributing to economic growth in all parts of the country.”
The campaign launch comes hot on the heels of George Osborne’s October announcement that Visa applications for Chinese visitors entering the UK will be simplified, The BHA, together with support from the UKCVA, the CBI, Institute of Directors and the British Chamber of Commerce has been proactively lobbying this issue, campaigning for swift visa reform. In addition, the BHA has been working directly with the Home Office and the UK Border Agency to identify the issues and how they impact the UK economy. It is estimated that in 2012 the UK’s estimated loss to competitors was £1.2bn of Chinese tourism receipts.