Hotel staff shortage at ‘critical’ level, says PwC report

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The UK hospitality sector is facing continued escalation in wage cost pressures, with labor shortages “at a critical level”, and trade is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels even d ‘by the end of next year, according to a survey.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ forecast for hotels 2021/22 puts occupancy rates by the end of 2022 for London at between 70% and 90% of pre-pandemic levels. For other parts of the UK, occupancy rates are expected to be between 87% and 96% of pre-pandemic levels.

PwC expects the average daily rate for hotel rooms in London to recover to £112.26 next year, up £27.78 from 2021.

He said other parts of the UK had “seen mixed fortunes throughout the pandemic”, saying: “Holidays have given coastal and leisure destinations a significant boost, with occupancy and a ADRs in August 2021 significantly higher than August 2019, but some cities and non-tourist destinations are still seeing slower demand.

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PwC added: “For areas driven by travel demand, the summer of 2022 could again see challenging business conditions if international travel is back on the agenda for the domestic market and pent-up demand for guaranteed sunshine is released.

“The latest research from PwC shows that 37% of people are still planning to holiday in the UK in 2022. Overall, overall holiday demand is expected to be similar to summer 2021, but more evenly distributed throughout the year.”

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PwC underlined its view that “the speed of recovery will be the key issue in 2022, but will be driven by factors beyond the industry’s control; the pace and extent of the return of tourism, business and international and national events.

The accountancy firm added: “In an encouraging sign for hoteliers, in the survey, 63% of respondents said they planned to take more or the same number of holidays in 2022.”

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