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Smoking bans, comparison websites, supermarket price wars and the deepest recession in living memory have all taken their toll on the hospitality sector and left it facing an unpredictable future, according to industry experts at the latest Wilkins Kennedy Round Table event. The group of south coast business leaders identified a shift in consumer spending habits over recent years as the root cause to the challenges now facing the industry. Hotel bookings and pub footfall were both reported as being lower than five years ago and what money consumers are spending on hospitality is often now driven by special cost-cutting offers.
Stagnating wages, high house prices, rising taxes, shrinking benefits and the soaring cost of elderly care all adds up to a squeeze on finances for much of the UK, according to business leaders at the latest Wilkins Kennedy Round Table.