UK hotels won’t return to pre-pandemic trading levels until 2023, figures indicate

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Regardless of indicators of restoration within the journey trade, new figures forecast that UK lodges received’t be again to buying and selling at pre-pandemic ranges till 2023.

Figures printed in PwC’s UK Lodges Forecast 2021-2022 recommend that occupancy charges in London will solely have risen to between 70 and 90 per cent of pre-Covid ranges by the top of 2022.

Within the areas, restoration is trying barely higher, with lodges forecast to return to between 87 and 96 per cent of regular enterprise by the top of 2022.

A troublesome begin to 2021 for lodges appears inevitable, with authorities help for the trade ending this autumn, and incoming tourism from many international locations nonetheless hampered by UK journey restrictions.

Labour shortages throughout the hospitality trade have additionally hit UK lodges laborious – a survey of 200 senior executives from throughout the hospitality trade earlier this month discovered that one in six jobs at the moment lies vacant, and 96 per cent of enterprise leaders are seeing staffing shortages for some roles.

A VAT enhance set for subsequent spring is predicted to make issues worse.

“In what might be described as an ideal storm, a raft of operational price will increase coincide with the rise within the price of VAT subsequent April,” mentioned PwC’s UK lodges chief Sam Ward.

“The flexibility for hoteliers to endure these prices and protect profitability, will current a problem in markets the place demand is weaker and extra resort rooms can be found.

“Many companies have publicly acknowledged their ambitions to chop enterprise journey whilst restrictions are lifted. Lodges that beforehand targeted on the enterprise market ought to take into consideration how you can seize home tourism, taking a look at this as an actual alternative and, because it returns, the worldwide tourism market.”

In additional constructive information, 63 per cent of individuals surveyed by PwC mentioned they plan to take both extra or the identical variety of holidays in 2022, whereas greater than a 3rd (37 per cent) nonetheless plan to vacation throughout the UK subsequent 12 months.

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