Hospitality shutdown responsible for a quarter of UK’s GDP fall

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The Government-mandated shutdown of the hospitality sector was responsible for nearly a quarter of the GDP losses felt by UK business in April, according to the CGA’s latest UKHospitality Tracker. While figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that total GDP in the UK fell by 20.4% in April, the tracker shows that turnover in the eating and drinking out fell by 90% in the same month. Taken with data from March, it shows that the shutdown of the sector has been responsible for some 32.7% of lost GDP for the country since the Coronavirus crisis began. “This decline has been shockingly acute and graphically illustrates the importance of hospitality and tourism to the UK economy,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. “The corresponding recovery can be as equally dramatic, but we must be given a date to reopen by 4 July; we must be given the right conditions, with a distancing rule of one metre; and we must have the right ongoing support from the Government to aid the sector’s recovery, and enable as many businesses as possible to survive.” A business confidence survey published by the CGA last month showed that a third of senior hospitality executives anticipate they will need to permanently close sites​​ because of the Coronavirus crisis; meaning an overall reduction in the number of pubs, bars and restaurants of some 20-30%. However, the tracker says these figures could be ‘significantly worse’ if revenues continue to be affected, highlighting the urgent need for the sector to be allowed to reopen. “The UK’s hospitality sector employs more than three million people and is a huge generator of revenues for the Government,” says CGA group chief executive Phil Tate. “Reopening is as soon as possible is vital not just for these businesses, but to enable the whole economy to be able to recover.”Hospitality shutdown responsible for a quarter of UK’s GDP fall