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Hotel operators around the UK are hoping for a summer staycation boom and this is set to provide jobs for many in the sector. The Bristol Hoteliers Association, for instance, representing some 40 hotels there, expects more than 500 people to be recruited from May.
As well as visitors to the city and its sights, some 100 previously cancelled weddings are expected to take place in the Bristol area before the end of 2021.
But there are concerns about the government’s points-based immigration system and the Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) warns that such a scheme could force some businesses to close and cause extreme difficulties for others.
Raphael Herzog, BHA Chair, said: “Around 40 per cent of our operations team are European, working across various departments including housekeeping, food and beverage staff, kitchen team and reception. Many of the Europeans currently filling those roles in our hotels would be ineligible to work under the Government’s proposals, which will have a huge impact on service levels and recruitment.”
“The tourism and hospitality sectors rely on the European workforce, and we firmly believe that if this points-based immigration system is introduced as currently proposed, it will have a massive impact on how many hotels, restaurants, bars will be able to operate, and will likely cause some businesses to close.
“We completely agree with UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls, who said the Government’s proposals fail to recognise that hospitality is at the heart of every community in the UK. The Government has not given us any indication of how we are expected to replace the European workforce.
“They say they expect employers to invest more widely in technology and automation rather than relying on the traditional European workforce.
“But the hospitality industry is all about people. Robots and automatic systems can’t strip the sheets and make the beds, and it’s that personal touch when it comes to customer service that guests really enjoy, and which can really enhance the whole experience of staying in any hotel.”