The hospitality industry has always faced challenges. But with the current economic climate – and its associated challenges- having a ripple effect throughout the international business landscape, the pressure felt by many in the hospitality industry has never been higher. It’s now more important than ever before that the hospitality industry is working hard to enable the country to weather whatever storm comes its way, in the post-Brexit and terrorism-laden area.
As one of the largest sectors of the global economy, employing more than 4.5 million people in the UK alone, it underpins commerce 24 hours a day. However despite playing such a vital role, perceptions of the hospitality sector are below par. As a hotel marketing agency that has worked with a range of hotels, we really do understand first-hand the challenges the industry is facing during this momentous period.
With Brexit on the horizon, it’s up to the industry to ensure it has a loyal, British workforce. As we’re unsure at present how Brexit will affect immigration from Europe, focussing on enticing British workers into hospitality, instead of relying on EU workers, is one of the single most important focuses over the approaching years. But with the lowest unemployment rate in decades resulting in a smaller pool of potential workers than ever before, tempting individuals into the hospitality sector could prove even more problematic. Other industries, such as the nursing profession, have also felt the impact of a skills and worker shortage, so the hospitality industry is certainly not alone here.
The best way to overhaul this misconstrued view is to focus on the endless possibilities within the hospitality industry. Contrary to the general consensus, working in hospitality doesn’t begin and end with waiting tables in a restaurant or bar tending. There are in fact a myriad of opportunities – and long-term careers – up for grabs. From managing high-end restaurants, to running large, five-star resorts, and even working behind the scenes to promote eateries and hotels, there has never been a better time to get into hospitality and forge out a career. Unfortunately, these negative perceptions won’t change on their own, and it’s down to the industry to pull together to change this.
The weakening pound
The weak pound has in fact proven fruitful for the UK industry. Brits deciding on a staycation over going abroad, while attracting visitors from other countries, has resulted in forecasts predicting a record-breaking year for UK hospitality and leisure, with international spending due to hit £24.1bn by the year end. Although this is good news for some sectors of the industry, challenges do come with this. The country may have been climbing out of the recession for a few years, but many businesses have been cautious to take on new staff or invest in facilities.
For hotels outside the UK, the weakening pound means fewer visitors from Great Britain booking holidays and making reservations. The United States has already report fewer Brits entering the country and other nations tell a similar tale.
The impact of terrorism
Many hotels have already expressed their concern about the impact of the heightened global terror threat. With a number of attacks across Europe, hotels across several countries have reported fewer bookings. Paris hoteliers in particular have discussed at length the impact of terror attacks, with figures showing drastic falls in reservations in the immediate aftermath of last year’s attacks.