The UK hospitality sector has reached a total annual turnover of £102bn and a year-on-year growth of 4%, according to new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data published earlier this month.
The data represents the first time that all businesses in the ‘Accommodation and Food Services Activities’ category have turned over in excess of £100bn (up from £98bn in last year’s data), according to analysis of ONS data published across the last six years by hospitality recruitment platform, Adia.
Despite the positive results, the ONS’ business population data for 2018, reports that growth in the sector is down to 4% from the average growth rate of 6% achieved between 2013 and 2017.
Although some analysts are predicting an employment crisis in the industry post-Brexit, Adia’s analysis shows that more than two million people are now employed in the sector, an increase of nearly half a million in five years. The number of businesses operating in the sector however, fell by around 8% in the last year, from 202,060 to 185,955.
Adia’s UK 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 £100 billion 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 and recruit 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.”