The UK hospitality sector is set to reach an annual turnover of £102b in 2018, breaking the £100b mark for the first time and representing growth of 4% year-on-year.
The figure is an increase from a turnover of £98b in 2018, according to data published by the Office of National Statistics and analysed by hospitality recruitment platform Adia.
However, the rate of increase in turnover has slowed to 4% from 6% between 2013 and 2017. A contributing factor is likely to have been the 8% fall in the number of businesses operating in the sector to 185,995.
Adia's UK country manager Terry Payne said: "Although there is much to be encouraged by in these figures, the declining number of businesses operating in the sector makes for uneasy reading. An industry that contributes more than £100b annually to the UK economy is significant and its role as a wealth and job creator needs to be protected.
"The significant growth in employment reflects both the demand from consumers and from those who want the working flexibility that the sector is able to offer. But, as an industry, we need to be even more agile in the way we employ staff, making greater use of technology and social media, for example, to recruit staff and help businesses more effectively manage costs and resourcing according to peaks in demand."