Business confidence in the UK hospitality sector has increased significantly over the past year, new research shows.
The American Express Hospitality Monitor, which looks at business trends and issues affecting the hotel and restaurant industries in the UK, shows 80% of the industry feels ‘as confident’ or ‘more confident’ about the outlook of their businesses over the next 12 months as they do today.
Direct competition is cited as the most significant challenge for the industry (50%), followed by cost of goods (18%) and customer preferences (12%).
Hotels in the UK are also taking steps to become more environmentally friendly, with 97% of those surveyed offering guests the option of not laundering daily, 83% using energy efficient lighting and 60% providing toiletries in dispenser packs rather than individual packets.
British Hospitality Association chief executive Bob Cotton says business confidence in the industry is reflected by the increasing levels of investment within the industry:
“The challenge for the industry going forward, in addition to managing both competition and changing customer preferences, will be how to sustain growth in conjunction with delivering socially and environmentally sustainable policies.”
The survey questioned hotels with an annual turnover of more than €1m during April 2007.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh