Britain’s hospitality sector was responsible for nearly a quarter of the GDP losses felt by UK business in April, highlighting the urgent need for the sector to be allowed to re-open.
Total GDP in the UK fell by 20.4% in April, according to ONS figures released yesterday, while new figures from the UKHospitality Tracker reveal how badly the hospitality sector was hit, with turnovers down nearly 90% in the same month.
Taken with data from March, with hospitality being first into the downturn, the sector has been responsible for some 32.7% of lost GDP for the country since the crisis began, with figures for trading in May and June being no better.
With many operations across the country unable to trade, the impact has been felt across all areas of hospitality from pubs, cafés, and high street restaurants to hotels, fine dining restaurants and institutional catering. Many hospitality businesses, faced with continuing overheads and no turnover, are struggling to survive.
Commenting on the figures, UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “This decline has been shockingly acute and graphically illustrates the importance of hospitality and tourism to the UK economy.
“The corresponding recovery can be as equally dramatic but we must be given a date to reopen by the 4th of July and we must be given the right conditions, with a distancing rule of one metre, and the right on-going support by the government to aid hospitality’s recovery, and to enable as many businesses as possible to survive, protecting jobs and communities.”
CGA Business Leader research estimated there would be an overall reduction in the number of pubs, bars and restaurants of some 20-30%, but this could be significantly worse if revenues continue to be affected.
“The UK’s hospitality sector employs over 3 million people and is a huge generator of revenues for the Government. Reopening is as soon as possible is vital not just for these businesses, but to enable the whole economy to be able to recover,” commented Phil Tate, group chief executive for CGA.