InterContinental Hotels Group chief executive Richard Solomons has sought to downplay fears Brexit could cause labour shortages in the UK hospitality industry.
While IHG had been lobbying government “from the prime minister down”, he ultimately foresaw no serious issues with staffing as the two year process of the UK leaving the EU begins.
“The UK government, as far as I can tell, is focused on ensuring the people that are here can stay here, and that we then have a sufficiently open market.
“They recognise that hospitality is really important.”
However, Solomons explained, only eight of the hotels operated by IHG are currently owned by the company, with the rest maintained on a franchise basis.
Hotel owners, not IHG, would therefore ultimately be responsible for staff, he said.
Solomons pointed out, although the InterContinental Hotel Group is based in the UK, only five per cent of its revenue is generated in its domestic market.
Instead the United States and, increasingly, China are the company’s major markets, he told an industry audience.
InterContinental Hotels Group currently has over 350,000 staff spread across 5,200 hotels around the world.
Solomons also pointed to the IHG Academy, which maintains hundreds of locations around the world, including in the UK.
IHG were here training the next generation of hospitality employees, building skills that would staff the industry in the future, Solomons added.