There isn’t a soundbite or a slogan the government can throw at the hospitality industry that will ease their fears. And the latest UKHospitality research suggests far more support is needed to bring optimism back to our domestic tourist resorts.
The hospitality sector accounted for a third of the UK’s entire drop in GDP during March and April, according to the latest industry research conducted by UKHospitality and data consultancy CGA. The research paints a bleak outlook among both business and consumers, with only 16 percent of leaders optimistic about prospects through to summer 2021 and a third of end users saying they would only return to venues if they are confident that added precautions have been implemented.
Analysis conducted by CGA drawn by experience gained in international markets, predicts crucial changes in consumer habits that are likely to shape the hospitality market including an increasing desire to use local venues rather than travel to city centres and an emerging polarisation between the value and premium ends of the market.
Karl Chessell, Business Unit director at CGA, said: “CGA’s data shows how the pandemic caused a sudden and dramatic downturn in sales and had a seismic effect on consumer behaviour, and the big question now is how quickly the market can recover. There are clearly many tough challenges ahead, but with the backing of consumers and the right support from government, businesses cannot just survive the pandemic but thrive in the happier times that lie ahead.”
Reflecting on the strategic role of government in helping business to navigate the economic crisis, Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKHospitality, stated: “There is still a huge amount of graft to be done if we are to make it through this crisis in one piece. We have pushed – and will continue to push – hard to persuade UK government to provide as much support as possible to keep businesses afloat and jobs secure, and have done everything we can to help pave the way for recovery. We have all faced up to some difficult truths and learned some valuable lessons.”
UKHospitality speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses including pubs, leisure parks, and visitor attractions. Hospitality represents 10 percent of UK employment, 6 percent of businesses, 5 percent of GDP and is the third largest private sector employer in the UK.