In 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a move that was widely dubbed “Brexit.” The impact of this decision has been far-reaching and has affected numerous industries, including the hotel industry. In the years since the vote, there has been much uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its eventual outcome. This has led to many businesses, including hotels, adopting a wait-and-see approach when it comes to planning for the future.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how Brexit is impacting the hotel industry and what we can expect in the coming years.
One of the most immediate impacts of Brexit has been on the value of the British pound. Since the vote to leave the EU, the pound has dropped significantly in value against both the US dollar and the Euro. For hoteliers who rely on international travellers, this decrease in value can have a big impact. Not only do fewer people have their money go as far when they visit Britain, but hotels may also have to pay more for goods and services that are priced in other currencies.
Another big impact of Brexit has been on travel itself. Since 2016, there has been a decline in both business and leisure travel to Britain. This is due in large part to an increase in uncertainty and anxiety surrounding both business dealings and vacations in light of Brexit. In particular, business travellers are hesitant to book trips to Britain because they don’t know how Brexit will impact their ability to conduct business or what kind of red tape they’ll have to deal with. Leisure travellers may be put off by reports of racism and xenophobia that have become more common since Brexit votes were tallied.
The decrease in travel has also had an effect on tourism in Britain. With fewer people visiting, hotels are seeing occupancy rates decline which could lead to a decline in revenue. This is especially true for hotels located near popular tourist destinations like London, where hotels rely heavily on foreign visitors.
Brexit is also having an impact on employment in the hotel industry. In particular, the hospitality sector relies heavily on EU workers to fill both low- and high-skilled positions. With Brexit set to close off this source of labour, hotels will likely have to increase wages in order to attract workers from other countries. This could lead to higher prices for hotel guests, as well as a decline in service levels as hotels struggle to staff their properties.
Not only has Brexit made is harder to attract workers from countries outside of the UK, but the overall uncertainty has forced a lot of people to leave the hospitality industry altogether. Rather than risk working longer hours, individuals have now retrained or moved to other sectors where they feel there is more job security. This has led to a staff shortage in labour which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What can we expect in 2022 and beyond?
The final outcome of Brexit is still very much up in the air. With negotiations between the UK and EU ongoing, it’s impossible to say definitively how things will shake out. However, we can make some predictions about how Brexit is likely to impact the hotel industry in the coming years.
- Prices are likely to increase for hotel guests as hotels grapple with the increased cost of doing business.
- Service levels may decline as hotels struggle to find enough staff to meet demand.
- Occupancy rates are likely to continue to decline as fewer people travel to Britain.
- Staff shortages and increased prices could lead to a decline in revenue for hotels, which could force some properties to close their doors.
The impact of Brexit on the hotel industry is certainly far-reaching. With so much uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the EU, it’s difficult to know what the next few years will bring. However, by understanding the challenges that Brexit poses to the hotel industry, we can be better prepared to weather the storm.