Gov support could see hospitality boost economy by £29bn

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Financial asset: Hospitality is the UK's third largest employer (Credit: Getty/ Richard Drury)
Financial asset: Hospitality is the UK's third largest employer (Credit: Getty/ Richard Drury)

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The past six years have seen hospitality boost its annual economic contribution by £20bn to £93bn, according to new research by UKHospitality (UKH).

The report, launched at UKH’s summer conference today (Wednesday 14 June), also showed that employment in the sector has risen to 3.5m, making hospitality the third largest employer in the country.

Produced by Ignite Economics, the research revealed how hospitality operates at the centre of the economy. In 2022 alone – and in spite of post-pandemic challenges still stifling growth – hospitality contributed £54bn in tax receipts to the treasury.

For UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls, the figures revealed just how much of an “economic powerhouse” hospitality was.

Surmounting challenges

She said: “Despite going through a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis over the past six years, as a sector we have continued to overcome challenges to increase our value to the economy and cement our position as a major employer.

“It’s essential that our role as a strategically important sector for the nation is recognised by politicians, and that we work together to help grow our economic contribution, create more jobs and enhance our offering in communities.”

The new research also showed that the sector also generated £20bn worth of exports and £7bn in business investment.

Nicholls continued: “This report shows what can be achieved if we can stimulate growth, bear down on inflation and have an enabling and supportive policy environment in place for hospitality.”

Working together

She said the potential for the sector to deliver another £29bn to the economy annually was an opportunity the Government should be eager to embrace.

She said: “I urge the Government to work even more closely with us, to seize the opportunities available and unleash the incredible potential of hospitality.

“This means tackling short-term issues that are stifling further growth, like enormous energy costs, food and drink inflation and damaging labour shortages, and really looking at the long-term structural issues holding businesses back, across business rates, licensing and planning.

“I’m incredibly proud of the resilience our sector has shown in recent years and the fact we continue to be a significant source of economic growth.

“Our sector has a long track-record of growing rapidly and driving the economy – these figures back that up and I hope the potential of hospitality is harnessed by the Government.”

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