Positive Outlook on Long-Time Recovery

Positive Outlook on Long-Time Recovery

Hospitality leaders "optimistic" about UK long-term recovery

More than two-thirds of hospitality leaders in the UK have expressed optimism about the long-term recovery of the sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority are predicting profitability will rise again over the next five years, according to research from Deloitte. They expect a growth of at least 9% in revenue per available room UK-wide and believe Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh will be the top three cities for investment in the hote lindustry.

UK holidays hope

The optimistic figures quoted in Deloitte's European Hotel Industry Survey 2020 are the result of almost 120 senior hospitality figures being polled. They believe it will take at least two years for performance to get back to normal following the pandemic and another three years for the sector to grow significantly.

One reason for optimism is because the restrictions on international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to many people taking holidays in the UK in 2020, rather than abroad.

Once the hospitality industry opens up again - hopefully when the current tiers system is reviewed and eventually relaxed - it is hoped residents will continue to take a vacation in the British destinations they have discovered during the pandemic.

Vaccine optimism

Research carried out for PWC UK's Hotels Forecast 2020-2021 suggests a similar time-frame to the one recognised by Deloitte. It fears a "volatile" outlook during 2021, forecasting occupancy rates for rooms are likely to be around 55% across the UK.

This is not only due to the pandemic, but also because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The effects of Britain's final departure from the EU, following the year-long transition period that ended on 31st December 2020, have presented a "large number of uncertainties", according to the study.

However, the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 has given fresh hope that it can be quickly and widely administered. This could be the key to the recovery of the hospitality sector, combined with consumers' renewed confidence to take holidays again as a result.

Hospitality petition

The PWC suggests 2021 will be a challenging year for hotels but believes the sector will gradually return to health by 2023.

An online petition demanding the government appoints a dedicated Minister for Hospitality to aid the recovery of the sector has attracted more than 100,000 signatures. This means it will be debated in Parliament during January.

Job losses in the hospitality industry totalled 650,000 between January and December 2020, leaving morale at rock bottom, but the launch of the vaccine has led to industry leaders seeing a light at the end of the tunnel at last.