ONE of the English Riviera's leading hotels has voiced its support for the proposed tourism and retail business improvement district for the Bay.
It comes as the ownership of The Imperial has changed, though management say the hotel is unaffected by the change.
Gwyn Gibbons, general manager, said they support the principle of the proposed T-BID in which all businesses involved in the industries will contribute.
She said: "I don't think tourism gets the recognition it deserves as an employer. It's not just hotels which need marketing. Many people may not be involved in the industry directly but, for example, if a member of staff here can no longer afford to get her hair cut, then the hairdresser loses business and its the same for suppliers.
"Tourism in the Bay has such massive potential. I think businesses have to get together to make the most of the area we possibly can. With 42 per cent of the jobs reliant on tourism it's the only way we can go forward.
"If we don't support the BID we are never going to create the events which will give people reasons to come here and to market those, particularly in the winter.
"If we combine our resources there will be more opportunity for everyone. We have to work together.
"If hotels are full, retail businesses survive, again particularly in the winter, and the same is true for restaurants and other businesses. The Imperial alone can bring 300 people to spend money in the town on a regular basis. I think everybody should be contributing and I would recommend others support it so we can take the resort forward."
The Puma Group of hotels has gone into administration, but the parent company owners say this has no effect on the operation of or any jobs the Imperial.
A Hotel Collection company spokesman said: "The administration of UK Group of Hotels Plc (previously Puma Hotels Plc) has no effect on The Hotel Collection/The Imperial, Torquay and for us it is business as usual.
"There will be no changes to staff, suppliers or vendors. This development, in fact, leaves The Hotel Collection well positioned to optimise its market position, initiate strategic investments to upgrade its portfolio and pursue targeted growth opportunities."