Restaurants, bars and hotel bookings down in the UK, thanks to Coronavirus
The hospitality sector has asked the government for help
Hotel occupancy has fallen 15%, eating and drinking out has declined by 7%, and forward bookings across hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars has fallen by up to 50%, according to UKHospitality, the trade association representing the UK’s hospitality sector.
This is all down to Coronavirus.
The body is now asking for immediate and wide-ranging support to deal with COVID-19.
As self-isolation becomes more widespread, UKHospitality has written to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for help.
The letter urges: a moratorium on business rates for a minimum of three months; business payment delays; and a VAT cut for hospitality and tourism to encourage people to book.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive said, “Hospitality businesses are on the front line, so to speak. There has been a significant impact on the sector. Bookings are down, footfall is down, and all signs point to it getting worse before it get better.
“This is now an emergency for our sector. If government doesn’t act to mitigate the impact and give us support businesses are in danger. This means cash flow becomes a problem, venues are under threat and jobs at risk.
“By the time the immediate threat of the virus has subsided, it may be too late for some businesses. Support is needed and it is needed now.”
In response to yesterday’s Budget, Nicholls also reiterated the need for support while facing Coronavirus.
“While easing business rates burdens and partial refunding of statutory sick pay may give smaller hospitality businesses some breathing room, it’s vital to recognise the enormous number of jobs reliant on larger operators suffering the virus’s impact equally. These businesses have today been utterly ignored at a time of business crisis.
“The ridiculousness of the current system is underlined by the Coronavirus situation, with punishing payments still expected of companies whose venues may not be able to open or operate.”