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Pandemic and lockdowns cost hospitality £200m a day in 2020

28 January 2021 by
Pandemic and lockdowns cost hospitality £200m a day in 2020

New data has shown that turnover for the hospitality sector last year dropped by almost £72b, equivalent to nearly £200m a day or £8m per hour in lost sales.

Turnover for the sector in 2020 was less than half that in 2019.

UKHospitality and CGA's Quarterly Tracker saw a 54% drop in sales, which collapsed from £133.5b in 2019 to £61.7b in 2020.

Strict local and national restrictions on trading caused a particularly damaging drop in trade in the final quarter of the year, with sales from October to December worth just £14.3b, down £18.7b or 57% on the last quarter of 2019.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: "These figures are simply devastating; hospitality was hit first, hit hardest and continues to suffer because of pandemic restrictions. And sitting behind this massive loss of revenue is the dreadful, real impact on people's lives and livelihoods across all parts of the sector and supply chain. It is also yet another stark reminder of the importance of having an exit strategy from the current lockdown and providing ongoing support for sector businesses.

"Hospitality can and will bounce back and it's in the interests of the government to support a sector that, in normal times, contributes many billions of pounds in tax to the Treasury and employs over three million people. We need the chancellor to step up again in his forthcoming Budget to deliver a bold, wide-ranging package of financial support that ensures as many businesses and jobs as possible are saved and the sector returns to growth. An extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday must be top of the menu."

Phil Tate, group chief executive of CGA, said: "This is the clearest evidence yet of the shattering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country's hospitality industry. With every week of restrictions, the sector loses more than a billion pounds of sales, hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs. Widespread closures over December, the busiest time of year for so many restaurants, pubs and bars, were a devastating final blow in a year of unprecedented challenges.

"Hospitality has responded to the pandemic with courage and innovation. Businesses have worked tirelessly to protect jobs, to support local communities and, when they are able to trade, to keep people safe. With a vaccine rollout underway there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel, and this sector is well placed to help recharge the UK economy as 2021 goes on. But it will only be able to do so if it gets the extensive support that is now desperately needed to sustain it over the next few months."

Photo: Shutterstock

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