Hospitality association leaders call for 'horrifically out-of-date' laws to be updated and red tape reduced

- Advertisement -

GOVERNMENT red tape is discouraging new businesses from entering the tourism sector and needs to be relaxed if the industry is to thrive, the new co-chief executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association has said.

Marcus Calvani said that Jersey’s tourism and licensing laws were ‘horrifically out of date’ and called for them to be changed immediately. He described the ‘multi-month-long’ process of applying for an alcohol licence – whereby owners have to appear before the Royal Court before they are granted permission to serve alcohol – as ‘terrifying’ for most new businesses.

Jersey’s Tourism Law was introduced in 1948, while the Licensing Law has been in place since 1974.

Earlier this month, Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel said the Tourism Law was ‘outdated’ and that he wanted a new law to be created as part of a new tourism strategy and that he would be seeking input from the industry to inform the new regulations.

Mr Calvani said that the government needed to help the industry to ‘function’ and that he believed there was now an ‘appetite for change’.

‘Our sector is running on horrifically out-of-date laws which are in desperate need of updating immediately.

‘They are not fit for purpose and the government needs to do better at supporting and nurturing businesses rather than putting so much red tape in front of them that they are discouraged and take their money elsewhere,’ he said.

‘There are things in the Tourism Law such as the dining room of a hotel has to have a certain number of chairs per bedroom. That is crazy. People don’t stay in hotels the same way that they did in the 1950s.’

Mr Calvani, who is the co-owner of JB’s Brewhouse, said he had helped redraft the Licensing Law twice in the past ten years, but that nothing had ever come to fruition.

‘The fact somewhere like JB’s has to hold four different licences to operate as a place where you can play ping pong, have a burger, listen to live music and enjoy a beer is archaic,’ he said. ‘All we need to do is to create an “on” and “off-trade licence”, which you apply for only at parish level, rather than having this multi-month-long process where you end up standing in front of the Bailiff and Jurats.

‘The licensing process is terrifying for most and it creates a barrier.’

St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft has, for several years, argued in favour of certain powers – including licensing matters – to be devolved to the parish and overseen by a town council in order to cut bureaucracy.

Mr Calvani also suggested that there should be a simple criteria which each business must follow in order to serve alcohol and that if it is not followed they should be punished.

‘Instead of having your proof of licence as a framed piece of paper behind the bar, have it on a digital QR code at the front of the venue so the police can scan it easily and don’t have to come in the venue and inspect,’ he said.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.