Hospitality industry FAQ

07 July 2005
Hospitality industry FAQ

All the key facts on the hospitality industry in one bite-size report…

General industry facts

How many people work in the hospitality industry?

The hospitality industry in the UK employs 1.7 million people, about 6% of the total working population.

What is the value of the hospitality sector? If you add together the various calculations of the size of different subsectors, the figure comes out at £55-£60b a year.

Which is the biggest company?

Very hard to say, as it depends on so many factors. Consult the profiles in our Companies section for essential information on the top operators in the UK.

How many tourists come to the UK every year?

According to VisitBritain, 27.7 million overseas visitors came to the UK in 2004, a 13% increase on the previous year.

How much money do they spend?

An estimated £13b in 2004, according to VisitBritain, a 10% increase on 2003.

How about domestic tourism?

In 2003, UK residents took 70.5 million holidays of more than one night within the UK. More than 22 million domestic business trips were also made.

How much money do domestic tourists spend? An estimated £59b.

How many people work in the tourism industry?

There are an estimated 1.4 million jobs in tourism in the UK, some 5% of all people in employment.


How many hotels are there in the UK? Arriving at an exact figure is difficult, as there is no formal registration required to run a hotel. Estimates put the figure at about 50-60,000

How much money do they make?

Depends on the type of hotel. According to consultants TRI, for chain hotels in the UK, the average room rate for 2004 was £70.87 and occupancy was 73.5%.

How many people work in the hotel industry?

In 2003, 238,025 people worked in the hotel industry as their main job, according to People 1st. This is about 15% of the total number of hospitality workers.


How many restaurants are there in the UK?

An estimated 56,000

How much is the market worth? More than £25b a year, according to market research firm Mintel. Stand-alone restaurants (as opposed to pub, hotel, in-store and roadside restaurants) account for about a fifth of the total, or £5.4b. The fast-food restaurant sector accounts for a further £6.7b.

How many people does the sector employ? About 500,000 full- and part-time staff.


How many pubs are there in the UK?

According to the British Beer and Pub Association, there were 88,098 premises with full on-licences in 2004, including about 59,000 pubs.

How many people work in the pub industry?

People 1st calculates that 306,147 people had their main job was in the pub, club and bar industry in 2003. That's 19% of the total number of hospitality workers.

Contract catering

How many contract catering outlets are there in the UK?

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) estimates there were 18,028 contract catering outlets in the UK in 2004.

What is the industry worth?

In 2004, turnover for the UK contract catering industry was £3.89b, according to the BHA.

How many meals do they serve? The BHA estimates that the contract catering industry served 1.6 billion meals in 2004.

How many people work in the contract catering industry?

People 1st says that 172,550 people's main jobs were in the contract catering industry in 2003. This is about 11% of the total number of hospitality workers.

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