Lack of Xmas presence predicted for 2023

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Holiday spirit: 10m consumers are expected to visit hospitality venues this Christmas but this is down by 4.5% from last year (image: Getty/andresr)
Holiday spirit: 10m consumers are expected to visit hospitality venues this Christmas but this is down by 4.5% from last year (image: Getty/andresr)

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Fewer consumers are planning to visit hospitality venues this Christmas compared to last year, research has found.

The Shopping for Christmas Report 2023: The Christmas Period ​from VoucherCodes, partnered with GlobalData and looked at consumer shopping trends and spending habits over the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

It showed half of consumers (48.8%) were looking to cut back on visits to pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés because of price rises and would be hosting friends and family at home to help save money with a third (33%) hosting at home more than 2022.

However, the report showed pubs would be the second most popular Christmas destination (after Christmas markets) with 10m or a quarter of consumers (26%) visiting during the festive period.

Tough year

It also revealed the overall hospitality sector is set to receive a £12bn boost over the festive period from those celebrating the holiday.

Voucher Codes senior commercial director Michael Brandy said: “The hospitality industry has faced a tough year with high inflation rates and rising costs eating into profit margins and sadly challenges are set to continue over the Christmas season.

“Despite many consumers returning to hospitality venues since the pandemic to celebrate with friends, family and colleagues, many will be prioritising their money to Christmas essentials such as gifts, travel and the Christmas dinner.

“To make the most of the festive season, hospitality venues should offer festive deals to encourage customers to visit and part with their hard-earned money.

“Set menus, happy hours and festive specials are just a few ways to offer customers real value when they are out socialising with friends and family this Christmas.”

Strike impact

This followed a poll of 106 respondents, conducted by The Morning Advertiser​, which found 55% of operators were lacking in confidence about winter trade​.

Owner of the White Swan at Fence in Lancashire predicted the winter months would be ok for the gastropub, thanks to its reputation and was already fully booked for Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, a number of hospitality operators urged unions not to enact Christmas rail strikes​ in an open letter.

The letter, which was signed by a group of 37 hospitality businesses and spearheaded by UKHospitality, said the significance of the festive season “cannot be overstated” and it represented a “crucial time when we traditionally see a substantial portion of our annual revenue generated, crucial to enabling venues to operate during the quiet months at the start of the year”.

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