The hospitality sector is forever changing in order to keep up with the latest trends. It is a
fast-paced industry and staying ahead of the curve can be a challenge.Working within the industry can prove to be hectic, always having to incorporate some new trend or policy in order to stay relevant, fun, and modern. We’re taking a look at 5 of the biggest challenges facing the hospitality industry in 2017.
1. The Growth of Airbnb
The last few years have seen a massive spike in sites like Airbnb, Homestay, HomeAway, and HouseTrip. Airbnb expect to achieve a turnover of almost $3billion this year and boast a value of $31billion in total. Both of these figures are set to increase more and more over the upcoming years.
Airbnb currently has 150 million users. This, along with users of similar sites, decreases the number of people using traditional hotels dramatically. For 2017 and beyond, it’s going to be tough to compete and the more traditional B&Bs will truly struggle to draw in the right amount of customers.
2. Changing Tastes
Restaurants and hotels are facing encouragement to offer more vegetarian and vegan dishes for modern diners. The Vegan Society released statistics this year which state that the number of vegans in the UK has more than tripled in the last ten years. Research from Vegetarian Express showed that 74% of meat-eaters enjoy eating vegetarian meals and want to eat more vegetarian dishes out of the home in order to maintain a healthier diet.
When you add the vegans and vegetarians together with 74% of meat-eaters, the numbers are huge. Any restaurant, cafe, diner, bar, or hotel that doesn’t offer vegetarian or vegan menus is missing out on millions of potential customers. In order to keep up with the competition, these dishes need be available. And with a wide selection, too, something a little more adventurous than cheesy pasta or a jacket potato.
3. Huge Sector Growth
The hospitality sector in the UK has experienced immense growth in the last few years. Investments come from all over the world and according to The British Hospitality Association (BHA), comprise approximately 127,000 businesses.
Predictions from industry specialists indicate that these figures are expected to grow this year and in the upcoming years, with more and more investments being made in the sector every day. While this sounds like a great thing for the industry, in reality it means that there will be much greater competition for those in the industry and many smaller business will undoubtedly find it impossible to compete.
4. Staff Shortages
The hospitality industry provides around 3.2 million jobs in the UK, making it the 4th biggest employer. With the industry growing so rapidly, estimates suggest that there will be a need for 60,000 new workers each year.
The sector currently struggles with staff retention and sourcing enough staff to fulfil the demands of the job as it is. This looks set to get worse and worse throughout the year and as 25% of the hospitality workforce currently consists of EU workers, demand for staff is sure to skyrocket in the upcoming years.
5. Decline in UK Tourism
2017 reports a significant decline in UK-bound travellers. Mainland European travellers show a 10% decline in visits to the UK this year. While this decline could be due to outlying factors which should improve into 2018, this boost will be short lived with the incorporation of Brexit in 2019.
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