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Sector focus – Hospitality

In the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, businesses are facing an uphill battle to get their customers back. Pádraig Floyd reports on how the decimated hospitality industry is picking up the pieces, faced with the reality that cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels may never be the same again

Economic analysisNo industry has been left untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, but those that typically bring people together, such as hospitality, have been greatly disrupted by the simple need to protect their customers – and so having to keep them apart.

The hospitality industry in the UK employs more than three million people in everything from small cafes to five-star hotels. In 2019, the sector was worth more than £133bn, and it now contributes more than 6% of the nation’s GDP. This is why the government offered it additional support.