New figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in recent days suggest that Britain’s hospitality sector will have broken a new growth record by the end of 2018.
According to the data, the UK hospitality sector is on track to reach an annual turnover of £102 billion this year – which would mark the first time the sector has ever pushed above the £100 billion mark.
Year-on-year, the forecasts suggest that the hospitality industry will have grown by four per cent.
The ONS’ data adds that employment growth in the sector has been robust over the past few years, with an estimated 2.35 million people currently working in the sector – representative of an increase of nearly half a million in just five years.
However, the figures suggest that historically, the rate of increase in turnover has slowed slightly – and that this could continue to be the case going forward.
Between 2013 and 2017, the rate of increase in turnover has fallen from six per cent to four per cent, with commentators blaming an eight per cent fall in the number of businesses active in the sector for this statistic.
Terry Payne, of digital recruitment platform Adia UK, 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.”