The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has called on the Government to offer a package of financial measures to tourism and hospitality businesses hit by the recent floods.
The BHA said it was "highly concerned" at the potential future impact on hospitality and tourism business, as the Met Office and Environment Agency both warned that the adverse weather is set to continue, bringing with it further flooding misery to UK homes and businesses.
Hospitality businesses in the West, South and South West are worst affected, with many still trying to recover from loss of business over the busy Christmas period.
The BHA said it wanted the Government to help the hospitality and tourism industry in two ways:
1) By creating a tourism marketing budget to attract people back to flood hit areas and;
2) To give businesses in affected areas a moratorium on VAT, PAYE and corporation tax payments to help their cash flows.
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, said: "The impact of these storms is potentially catastrophic for hospitality and tourism businesses in the affected areas. The ripple effect is also hitting other businesses as tourists are being put off visiting parts of the UK because of the severe weather.
"We have to act now to plan for the future and we are keen to ensure that our industry has learned the lessons from the past and is helped by the government to quickly set a path to recovery. The BHA today asks government urgently to help our industry in two ways: by setting up a marketing budget to attract tourists back, and by giving affected businesses a lifeline by offering a moratorium on VAT, PAYE and corporation tax payments."