UK Hospitality Update

15 February, 2021

Statistics published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK economy shrank by 9.9% in 2020, with the output of the accommodation and food services sector now 51.8% lower than last year.

Additional analysis from the Q4 UK Hospitality Quarterly Tracker showed a 54% drop in sales across hospitality in 2020, equivalent to a drop of £71.8b, making hospitality responsible for one-third of the UK economy's annual £215b contraction.

The ONS stats also showed that hospitality acted as a brake on the UK's growth rate for Q4, dragging quarterly growth down 0.95% to 1% as sector sales fell by a third.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "These figures make for bleak reading, but also serve to drive home the point about the importance of hospitality as an economic force. When hospitality struggles, the entire UK economy struggles.

"The huge losses we have suffered this year account for one-third of the slump for the whole economy last year. This really hammers home the importance of, and need for, a healthy hospitality sector for the entire country.

This has in turn prompted a letter, signed by 63 of the Conservative parties MPs, being sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating “Given the current pace of the vaccine rollout, by Easter we will have protected over two-thirds of risk groups 5-9. We would therefore ask you to ensure that pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can open for Easter in a way which enables them to be Covid-secure but also to operate in a commercially viable manner."

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