BusinessEating OutFood and DrinkHighlightsHospitalityHotelsNewsPubsRestaurants

Christmas To Give A £12bn Boost To The Hospitality Industry – But Visitor Numbers Set To Fall

Hospitality venues are forecast to see a £12bn boost over the festive season, as consumers celebrate with family, friends and colleagues.

The Shopping for Christmas Report 2023 predicts 40.1 million people will visit a hospitality venue over the festive period this year, however this marks a 4.5% decline on the previous year. In 2023, just 28.7% of consumers say they plan to visit a restaurant, pub or bar over the festive season, compared to 33.2% who visited last year.

Visitors to hospitality venues over the Christmas period. 2022 actuals, 2023 forecast

2022 (%) 2023 (forecast) (%) Change
Visited/ will visit 33.2 28.7 -4.5
Did not/ will not visit 66.8 71.3 +4.5

This comes as half of consumers say they’re cutting back on visiting hospitality venues this Christmas because of price rises (48.8%). Instead, one-third of people plan to host friends and family at home as a way to save money.

However, Christmas markets are forecast to hold up well this Christmas compared to other types of venue, with 30% of consumers (13.8m) planning a visit over the festive season. This is likely because of the festive atmosphere they provide which can’t be recreated at home.

The report also shows pubs can expect 10m visitors (26%) over the Christmas period, and restaurants can expect 8.6m (24%), as consumers celebrate. At the other end of the scale, clubs are forecast to see just 1.4m visitors (4%), ice-skating risks will see 2m visitors (6%), and bars can expect 4.1m (10%) in the run up to Christmas.

Michael Brandy, Senior Commercial Director at, comments:“The hospitality industry has faced a tough year, with high inflation rates and rising costs eating into profit margins, and sadly challenges are set to continue over the Christmas season.

“Despite many consumers returning to hospitality venues since the pandemic to celebrate with friends, family and colleagues, many will be prioritising their money for Christmas essentials such as gifts, travel and the Christmas dinner.

“To make the most of the festive season, hospitality venues should offer festive deals to encourage customers to visit and part with their hard-earned money. Set menus, happy hours, and festive specials are just a few ways to offer customers real value when they’re out socialising with friends and family this Christmas.”