Hospitality sector turnover last year dropped by almost £72bn last year, a 54% drop in sales compared to 2019, data from UKHospitality and CGA suggested.
Sales fell from £133.5bn in 2019 to £61.7bn in 2020. This is the equivalent to almost £200m a day or £8m per hour in lost sales for the country’s venues.
Data from the quarterly tracker showed that tougher regional rules and closures near Christmas saw a big drop in the last quarter of 2020.
The sector generated just 14.3bn worth of sales from October to December 2020, a drop of £18.7bn or 57% on the same period of 2019.
The figures come as trade bodies and pub operators reiterated calls on the Government to announce further support measures to help pubs survive England’s third lockdown and beyond.
Hit first, hit hardest
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “These figures are simply devastating; hospitality was hit first, hit hardest and continues to suffer because of pandemic restrictions brought in. And sitting behind this massive loss of revenue is the dreadful, real impact on people’s lives and livelihoods across all parts of the sector and supply chain.”
The data was a “yet another stark reminder” of how much the sector needed a lockdown exit strategy and support for businesses, Nicholls said.
“Hospitality can and will bounce back and it’s in the interests of the Government to support a sector that, in normal times, contributes many billions of pounds in tax to the Treasury and employs over three million people,” Nicholls added.
Calls for support
The Chancellor must announce a “wide-ranging package” of support to save businesses and help the sector return to growth, the trade body leader said.
Trade groups and operators have been calling for an extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday.
“Hospitality has responded to the pandemic with courage and innovation,” said Phil Tate, group chief executive of CGA.
He added: “Businesses have worked tirelessly to protect jobs, to support local communities and, when they are able to trade, to keep people safe.”
The rollout of a vaccine meant there is “at least some light at the end of the tunnel,” but more support is “desperately needed” to help businesses survive the next few months,” Tate said.