Senior executives across the hospitality industry fear Brexit poses a triple-threat that will slash the growth seen over the sector in recent years.
Unclear visa strategy, reduced access to a migrant workforce and insufficient UK talent threaten to drastically reduce the UK hospitality sector's competitive edge, according to a new report from Amaris Hospitality and Jurys Inn, two leading UK hoteliers.
The research found two in five executives (40 per cent) said the need for a clear and cohesive visa strategy was the number one issue facing the industry, while two thirds (65 per cent) were very concerned the long-term effects of the weaker pound outweighed a boost to visitor numbers.
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said political uncertainty has already had a negative impact on the sector, and Brexit could soon turn into a "perfect storm".
The report calls on the next government to sharpen the industry's competitive edge so that it can make a success out of Brexit.
"With hospitality companies up and down the UK now looking to the UK government for answers on the uncertainties for Brexit, we need a response that will breathe a collective sigh of relief across the industry so we can have the confidence to play our part in driving growth and building for the future," said Jason Carruthers, managing director of Jurys Inn.
Brexit concerns tempered an otherwise positive outlook for the sector, with executives pointing to a number of opportunities moving the industry forward.
The power of new technologies and ways to connect to new global audiences were identified as a rich source of future growth. Over half (55 per cent) of the experts surveyed said the hospitality industry needed to do more to embrace the power of technology, recommending greater cross industry collaboration.