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Barclays Release Hospitality & Leisure Sector Report

A new report released by Barclays today has revealed the latest trends in customer and operator behaviour in the Hospitality & Leisure sector.

Key highlights
Experience needs to be distinctive, differentiated and value for money

Trends in customer behaviour show that the average amount young people are spending on leisure continues to rise:
– Under-25s are spending 28% more in pubs and bars, and 26% more on eating out than in 2022.

It’s also clear that Brits looking for something different from hospitality and leisure:
– 38% of consumers saying discounts and promotions would encourage them to visit hospitality and leisure venues more often.

Brits are also taking advantage of new working patterns to create more time for fitness and leisure breaks:
– 42% of those whose work patterns have changed since the pandemic now use gyms or leisure centres more.

‘Competitive socialising’ – from old-school arcade games and reinvented table-tennis to escape rooms, axe-throwing and electric shuffleboard – is also growing in popularity:
– 35% of consumers keen to try this activity for the first time.

– A case study of ‘Red Engine’ is included in the report, who provide Fight Club and Electric Shuffle venues – Barclays’ support has helped both footprint growth and increase staffing levels for the group.

Trends in operator behaviour show that operators have overcome hurdles and are feeling confident:
– Nearly four out of five (78%) businesses have confidence for the future, including 32% who are very confident

– Predicted growth ranges from 18% among travel businesses to 46% for hotels. The biggest increases are forecast by businesses in East of England (41%) and London (39%), with the lowest in the South West (19%) and Wales (17%).

Operators are also investing:
– 48% of businesses are carrying out upgrades to their premises to enhance customer experiences

The majority have also been able to overcome the recruitment issues which heavily impacted the industry last year:
– 70% now say they are either fully staffed or able to cover gaps, with only 7% in severe difficulty.

Industry is still facing some major challenges:
– Operators have seen costs soar by 40% over the past year. Only around half of those costs on average (53%) have been passed on through price rises to consumers

• Nearly a quarter (23%) report energy costs as their biggest challenge, whilst others (23%) point to continuing supply chain problems
The full report can be accessed here.