Did you know that the hospitality industry is the unsung hero of the UK economy and wider world? It plays a critical role in economic development, yet its significance often goes unrecognised.

As part of my Hospitality H.E.R.O values, the E stands for ‘Economics and Employment’ because I am passionate about highlighting and championing the profound impact that hospitality brings to our regions, the UK, and the wider world.

The hospitality sector saw the biggest economic declines of all sectors during the pandemic, but despite this, and the cost-of-living impact, the sector continues to demonstrate phenomenal resilience and strength.

A recent report produced by Ignite Economics – ‘Economic Contribution of the UK Hospitality Industry – 2023’, showcases the significant contribution hospitality makes to the economy.

The report revealed that:
– In the past six years, hospitality has increased its annual economic contribution by £20 billion to £93 billion.
– Since 2016, employment in the sector has risen to 3.5 million, making hospitality the third largest employer in the country.
– Hospitality ranks as a top five employer in every region of the UK, accounting for up to 12% of every regional workforce.
– Hospitality contributed £54 billion in tax receipts to the Treasury last year.
– The sector generated £20 billion worth of exports in 2022.
– Hospitality attracted £7 billion worth of business investment last year.

The figures in the report demonstrate the resilience of the sector and demonstrates the incredible economic impact hospitality; has had, currently has and could continue to have…

Hospitality is growing at a rate of 5.9%, which is almost double the rate of the UK economy, so, it is clear to see the vital role the sector plays in economic development, but it does frustrate me as to why it is often so unrecognised! Hospitality rarely receives the recognition it deserves and these statistics show that this industry is not one to be ignored.

That is why I believe that it is vital that the Government, Councils, Politicians… recognise the sector’s resolve, resilience and strategic importance and closely collaborate with, and support, those in the profession. Because, Hospitality is the lifeblood of many communities
– and this needs to be acknowledged.

With hospitality being one of the largest economical generated revenues for many countries across the globe, its struggles during and post pandemic did have a huge impact not only on economies globally but on leaders within the profession too. Although many have shown extreme strength and determination, we have seen many hospitality leaders and managers around the world simply continuing to put ‘one step in front of the other’ to try to survive the challenges that have been continuously happening over the past six years, including; the pandemic, inflation pressures, energy bills, food prices, dampening in consumer confidence, with many cutting down and being cautious when it comes to spending…. and, all of this is leading to many hospitality businesses and upper management feeling they are on the brink – stretched, pressed and stressed!

I have personally seen many managers and staff having become monotonous, stuck on autopilot and having lost their mojo and this cannot go on if we want this sector to continue thrive in the future.

That is why I launched ‘The Hospitality Hero’, I believe in our profession and want to unite, link arms and collectively inspire each other to globally lead with passion, advocate for the industry, push for change, whilst ensuring we are able to lead effectively and continue to
rebound strongly to any challenges thrown at us.

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Report Link: Economic Contribution of the UK Hospitality Industry – June 2023 –