The Bristol Hoteliers Association say they're 'disappointed and surprised' by North Somerset Council's decision to reject Bristol Airport's expansion plans.
After a four hour meeting on Monday night, Councillors voted by 18 to 7 to reject the plans, even though the authority’s officers had recommended the application be approved.
The Bristol Hoteliers Association has now warned that this decision could have a negative impact on the South West economy and on the city’s hospitality industry in the long-term.
Airport bosses say they will now consider whether to appeal the decision or submit a revised planning application.
Raphael Herzog, Chair of the Bristol Hoteliers Association, warned: “It has been suggested that some airlines might leave Bristol Airport if it is not allowed to expand, which means services could decrease rather than increase.
“All the while, other locations, like Midlands Airport and Manchester Airport, are getting bigger, which means Bristol could be left behind and miss out. A thriving, and competitive, airport is vital to the economic prosperity of the region.
“Of course, we recognise the long-term aim of protecting our planet and reducing carbon emissions and appreciate that airport expansion plans will always provoke strong political debate.
“While it is important to take steps towards being more environment friendly, it needs to be done in the right way and not stopping economy growth in the city. There is already a lot of unknown with Brexit and the region should be open to planning that will generate more travellers and therefore cash in the economy.
“In the grand scheme of things, denying Bristol Airport’s expansion plans simply means passengers will travel further to other airports which will be able to meet their needs, which will increase their carbon footprint.”
Meanwhile, he said Bristol Airport has already demonstrated a clear commitment to be more environmentally friendly, publishing a carbon roadmap last summer setting out how it hopes to become a net zero airport and achieve carbon neutrality.
Mr Herzog added: “These are exciting times for the region, with the recent opening of The Wave surfing facility just outside Bristol, and the proposals for other exciting developments such as the Arc Bristol attraction and a multi-use arena.
“These proposals present Bristol with the chance to be a pioneering leader, offering attractions that people cannot find anywhere else.
“There have also been many big-name concerts in the city in recent years, which are really helping to put Bristol firmly on the international map as a tourist destination, which is great for the city’s economy.
“It would be a step backwards if more people are not able to come and enjoy these attractions because the airport’s growth is blocked, while other regions continue to thrive.