It’s a treble! Bank holiday-filled month to give early boost to ‘staycation summer’ says hospitality and tourism expert

Matthew Waters
Hospitality and Leisure
Mat Waters

Hospitality and tourism businesses in East Anglia are set for a welcome boost in trade with three separate bank holiday weekends in May, which could signal another ‘staycation year’ for the region, according to a leading tourism and hospitality expert.

Mat Waters

The succession of long weekends will help kick-start a vital summer season for the region’s hospitality and tourism sector, according to Mat Waters, partner at Lovewell Blake, and a member of the firm’s specialist Leisure, Hospitality and Tourism team.

“Having a treble bank holiday month gives pubs in particular a chance to boost takings ahead of a summer without any of the major sporting events which usually fill the beer gardens,” said Mr Waters. 

“The Centre for Retail Research has estimated that the extra two hours of trade each day from 11pm to 1am over the coronation weekend should on its own boost spending in the hospitality sector by £194 million.

“The British Institute of Innkeeping estimated a 22% increase in trade during the Jubilee bank holiday last year, and it’s likely that the coronation holiday will have an even bigger impact.”

But it is not just pubs and restaurants which are set to benefit from the plethora of bank holidays next month, according to Mr Waters.

“We are already seeing evidence that 2023 will be another strong year for the domestic tourism sector, with a recent survey showing that by Easter 31% of adults had already booked a UK holiday, against a figure of 22% at easter 2022.

“If we see good weather in May, the opportunity to grab a break without taking so much time off work, which is afforded by several four-day working weeks during the month, could provide a really solid platform for a record staycation summer.”

Mr Waters said that this boost will be much welcomed by the hospitality and tourism sectors, which are both still feeling the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“UKHospitality estimated that from the start of the pandemic to March 2022, the financial damage to the hospitality industry was £114.8 billion of last sales, so there is a vast amount of lost revenue to make up.”

“It is now 12 months since the rate of VAT paid by hospitality businesses returned to 20%, and this combined with soaring costs has meant that any modest increases in sales will have been swallowed up in lost margin.

“So a strong start to 2023 is absolutely vital to these two sectors, which are among the biggest employers in our region.  Traditional economic thinking holds that extra bank holiday can be detrimental to the economy, but for hospitality and tourism at least, the coronation month will be a welcome boost.”

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