UKHospitality: GDP figures 'highlight economic importance of hospitality'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality: GDP figures 'highlight economic importance of hospitality'

Related tags: ukhospitality, Hospitality, Coronavirus, lockdown

Trade body UKHospitality has said the 'depressing' economic figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week highlight the economic importance of the hospitality sector.

Estimates for November show UK gross domestic product (GDP) falling by 2.6%, with hospitality, which was effectively closed in England during the month, accounting for just over one-third (0.9%) of the decline.

The ONS said it meant GDP was 8.5% below its pre-pandemic peak.

November's decline came after six consecutive months of growth.

UKHospitality says the figures show the impact and importance of hospitality on UK’s economy and make the case for sector to be at heart of reopening plans.

The trade body adds that the data reinforces its calls for the sector to be supported properly by Government while Coronavirus restrictions continue to be imposed. 

“[The] GDP figures make for pretty depressing, if not surprising, reading," says Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive.

"What is noticeable is that hospitality, a sector that was effectively closed down across England, in November, is responsible for just over one-third of the decline.

“This really hammers home how important our sector is to the economy. When we were open, albeit with restrictions, in the summer, our return to growth contributed to the economy growing. The figures highlight our power as an economic driver and show why we should be at the heart of plans to revitalise the economy.

“Hospitality must be prioritised once vaccines have been rolled out to the vulnerable and an exit strategy has been determined. We need to be supported properly if we are expected to power economic growth and spearhead the country’s revival.

"The level of support has to reflect the hit that the sector has taken and ensure those hardest hit receive the proper help they need.”

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