According to the newly launched UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker, which has been compiled by insight and data provider CGA, the hospitality sector saw sales decline 21.3% in the first quarter of 2020.
The drop in trading across the industry is concentrated in March, when the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic forced most businesses to shutdown.
Meanwhile, total annualised sales across the sector fell 2.7% on the previous year to £126.8bn.
At the end 2019, the total value of the sector to the UK economy was £133.5bn.
UKHospitality says it will be a long time before that level is reached again.
“The scale of the fall underlines the severe impact the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown imposed by the Government from March 23 has already had on the sector,” says UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.
“At the end of December, the industry had seen year-on-year growth running at +3.9%. The turnaround has been dramatic and will only get worse in the coming quarter.
"A continuation of business support is the only way to avoid a bloodbath of job losses and company failures in the hospitality sector, one of the UK economy’s jewels in the crown.”