In September 2015 the Association organised the first ever Hospitality and Tourism Day at Westminster. It saw more than 120 BHA members and MPs get together for a single lobby day in Parliament.
At an awards ceremony in London, it fought off stiff competition from other associations to win the Best Networking Event category at the Association Excellence Awards.
The judges commented “excellent result in getting this into the Parliamentary diary as an annual event. Breaking new ground and aligning completely with the core objective. Showed a rounded approach to networking”.
“We see this award as a tribute to the commitment and hard work of all our members who helped to make the event such a success,” said Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association.
“The Hospitality and Tourism Day helped us put the industry’s case to MPs and policy makers face-to-face. It served as a platform for the development of new relationships between MPs and the hospitality and tourism industry.
“It was the first time we attempted something of this scale and we have built some strong relationships as a result of the event.
“But it was only made possible thanks to the support and enthusiasm of our members who could clearly see the value of hosting such an event.”
The Association Excellence Awards 2016 recognise excellence and exceptional achievements in trade and professional associations. By bringing together an outstanding panel of 29 judges, representing associations from every sector, these awards recognise individuals, teams and initiatives and highlight excellence in how associations operate and serve their members.
The award ceremony, hosted by the BBC’s Justin Webb, was held at the new Hilton Hotel in Bankside in London. Representatives of more than 100 Associations attended.
As an industry body the BHA aims to make sure the UK Government properly recognises hospitality and tourism as an economic priority. A crucial part of this strategy is to make sure MPs are fully aware of the value of hospitality and tourism to the UK economy and to lend support to key policy priorities such as a reduction of VAT on tourism, simplification of the process for issuing tourist visas, fairer online travel agency contracts, and many others.
Vernon Hunte, Government Affairs Director for the BHA said: “The BHA has now enrolled the support of 138 MPs from all parties to its campaign to reduce VAT on accommodation and tourist attractions. The BHA Lobby day helped us reinforce and grow support for this initiative.
“The success of the inaugural Hospitality and Tourism Day is a great sign for the BHA members and we are looking forward to build on this success this September with a second Lobby Day.”
The BHA will make the day an annual event to further strengthen ties between the industry and MPs. The second Hospitality and Tourism Day will be held on 13 September 2016.