Last week, the office for national statistics (ONS) released analysis of industries related to travel and tourism in the UK that have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, using data on business performance and the labour market. The main points from their analysis are:
- Monthly air passenger arrivals to the UK fell from 6,804,900 in February 2020 to 112,300 in April 2020, a fall of 98.3%.
- Greater London saw the largest fall in room occupancy of any English region from 2019 to 2020, with just 20% of rooms occupied in July 2020 compared with 90% in the same month in 2019.
- Accommodation and travel agency businesses saw the sharpest decline in turnover during the first national lockdown, falling to 9.3% of their February levels in May 2020.
- The proportion of businesses in travel and tourism industries trading peaked at 85% in October 2020, before declining in response to increasing restrictions in November.
- In the three months to June 2020, employment in accommodation for visitors fell by 21.5% compared with the same three months of 2019.
- In travel and tourism industries overall, the number of people aged 16 to 24 years saw the largest fall in employment of any age group between Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019 and Quarter 3 2020.
As we are still in lockdown the results are not surprising. We do however hope that this sector bounces back in the summer once the vaccination programme and other measures stabilise the virus.
In the meantime, the best use of anyone’s time right now is planning for the “bounce back” recovery.
We cannot predict the date of a return to normality, but there are some practical steps you can take to minimise potential disruption to your business and maximise opportunities for recovery:
- Review your Budgets and set realistic and achievable targets for the remainder of 2021
- Review and flow chart the main processes in your business (e.g. Sales processing, order fulfilment, shipping etc.) and challenge the need for each step
- Encourage team members to suggest ways to streamline and simplify processes (e.g. sit down and brainstorm about efficiencies and cost reduction)
- Put extra effort into making sure your relationships with your regular and long-standing customers are solid
- Review your list of products and services and eliminate those that are unprofitable or not core products/services
- Use the current lockdown as an opportunity to reflect on the exceptional challenges you have faced as a result of Covid-19 over the last 12 months. What were your most significant accomplishments? Have you encountered any setbacks or disappointments? Consider what you have learned from your experiences to improve your prospects for later on in 2021
- Set yourself and the business some specific goals for recovery. Make sure to keep them visible and share them.
At Beavis Morgan, we work with a wide range of businesses of all sizes and across many different business sectors, helping them with strategic planning, system implementation, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.
Our diverse team of tax professionals are also committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.