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First minister urged to back Scottish hospitality and tourism


New First Minister should support and value hospitality and tourism as one of Scotland’s economic giants, UKHospitality Scotland has said.

Leon Thompson, Executive Director of UKHospitality Scotland, said: “I’d like to congratulate John Swinney on being appointed as First Minister and I look forward to working with him and his government.

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“I hope the First Minister takes advantage of this moment to start afresh with businesses, who feel they have not been listened to or properly valued in recent years. The Scottish Government has at its disposal a hospitality and tourism sector that is an economic giant and a valuable partner in showcasing Scotland around the world.

“Not only is our sector integral to our culture and communities, but we’re one of the key reasons why tourists choose Scotland to visit.

“This is not a reputation the sector takes lightly, and our businesses want to invest and grow to further enhance our offering, create more jobs and drive economic growth. Unfortunately, that investment is curtailed by an ongoing costs crisis and a lack of support, compared to the rest of the UK.

“In the recommendations from the New Deal for Business, the Scottish Government has a series of measures it can drive forward to create a better, business-friendly environment for businesses, with less burdensome regulation. Starting with business rates reform for hospitality businesses would clearly demonstrate this new government’s pro-business credentials.

“Implementing these recommendations, while also avoiding unnecessary, burdensome regulation, can unlock the investment needed to turbocharge Scottish hospitality, to the benefit of the Scottish people, businesses and economy. I would urge the First Minister to move forward with these at pace.”

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