Hospitality set to deliver £3.5bn to GDP

The hospitality and leisure industry could contribute £3.5bn more to the nation’s GDP this year.

New research has revealed that the hospitality and leisure industry could contribute £3.5bn more to the nation’s GDP this year than it did in 2019.

The data from Barclays shows that the vast majority of hospitality and leisure businesses (94%) are confident about their growth prospects for this year following a post-lockdown surge in trade. 

Based on projected sales figures for the period from April to December 2021, when the hospitality sector has largely been open again, this equates to £3.5bn more in Gross Value Added than in the equivalent period in 2019.

The research also reveals new patterns in the way people are accessing hospitality and leisure services, and changing consumer habits. Although restrictions on foreign travel have eased substantially in the past couple of weeks, staycation tourism could be here to say with nearly half (45%) of consumers prioritising UK holidays over those abroad. The most popular destinations are the Lake District, the south west of England and the Scottish Highlands. 

Barclays Corporate Banking estimates that if a preference for UK holidays continues at the same rate in 2022, it will add up to £9.2bn to the domestic tourism market.

What's it being spent on? 

The report shows that significant numbers of consumers are prioritising hospitality and leisure products that are offer health and wellbeing benefits, strong sustainability credentials, or which come with particularly strong safety and hygiene standards.

On average, consumers are prepared to pay 19.9% extra for healthier food and drink options. More than nine in ten (91%) of hospitality and leisure operators are now prioritising ‘healthy’ products among their portfolios.

While eating out or drinking, those aged 16 to 24 would be prepared to pay a premium of 35%, on average, for products with strong sustainability credentials. The average premium for 25- to 35-year-olds is 30%. 

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