UK hospitality industry optimistic

Some 71% of UK-based hospitality businesses believe profits will improve over the next 12 months

The UK hospitality industry is more positive about its profit outlook than the rest of Europe, a new survey has shown.

According to the American Express 2006 Hospitality Monitor, 71% of UK-based hospitality businesses believe that profits will either remain stable or improve over the coming 12 months, compared to only 65% of European companies.

Hospitality companies in Spain were the second most optimistic in Europe, with 66% of those surveyed forecasting a stable or improving state of affairs during the next year.

The figures contradict the hospitality industry’s fears that the 7/7 London bombings would hit tourist numbers.

Direct competition (30%) was sited as the greatest business challenge facing the hospitality industry, followed by changing customer preferences (17%) and staffing (14%).

Only 6% of Europe’s hotels and restaurants identified the overall health of the economy as their top business challenge.

Chief executive of the British Hospitality Association Bob Cotton, said: “Leisure travel and dining out are more accessible to consumers than ever before, and as a result, consumers are spending at hotels and restaurants more regularly.

“While this helped create some of the momentum the UK hospitality industry has seen in recent years, it also means that hoteliers and restaurateurs need to be intensely focused on meeting their customers needs if they hope to continue to grow.”

The research was conducted by independent research company Loudhouse on behalf of American Express.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006

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