Industry Update
External Article19 October 2021

UK hotel trading ‘unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels by end of 2022’

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Travel Weekly

Trading at UK hotels is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022 despite encouraging signs for hoteliers.


UK hotel trading performance is set to improve next year as demand continues to return after Covid caused the most volatile trading period, according to research from PwC.

The forecast for occupancy rates by the end of 2022 is between 70% and 90% of pre-pandemic levels in London.

In the regions, the forecast is higher at between 87% and 96% of pre-pandemic levels.

The speed of recovery will be the major issue in 2022, but will be driven by factors outside of the sectors’ control – the pace and size of the return of tourism, international and domestic business and events.

In an encouraging sign for hoteliers, 63% of people surveyed said they plan to take either more or the same number of holidays in 2022, according to PwC’s UK Hotels Forecast 2021-2022 analysis. More than a third (37%) still plan to holiday within the UK next year.

However, a difficult start to next year is widely expected, with the end of the majority of government financial support and rent and tax bills due.

Managing cash flow and operations will be critical to ensure success for hotels across the UK.

Rising payroll cost pressures are likely to continue into 2022 as labour shortages in hotels are at a critical level, leading to an above inflation increase in wage rates as hoteliers struggle to retain and attract staff.

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