Staycations boost hotel, restaurant and bar spending in August


Spending on hotels, restaurants and bars grew by 2.5% in August 2017, as compared to the same period a year ago, helped along by staycations.

Overall UK household spending during August was up by 0.3% year on year – the first overall growth in four months, according to Visa UK’s Consumer Spending Index.

The hospitality sector was one of the best performing sectors of the economy for the month, behind only miscellaneous goods and services, which registered a 10.1% increase.

However, Visa UK said that the data suggested household expenditure was still on track for its weakest calendar year of growth since 2013.

Kevin Jenkins, UK and Ireland managing director at Visa said: “Consumer spending in August has bucked the trend of the previous three months, registering a marginal increase against the same period last year. Nevertheless we are wary about taking this as a sign that the household squeeze is easing given the clear slowdown in spending during the preceding three months.

“The experience economy saw some success, possibly as a result of a rise in staycations due to the weakness of sterling. This translated into a four-month high in recreation spending and sustained growth in hospitality.”

Josh Beer, of the Illustrious Pub Company, Cambridgeshire, one of the small businesses that Visa is tracking as part of its consumer index, said: “We had a small dip in revenue in August. The summer holidays wouldn’t be the busiest time for us. And as we are changing our business model to focus on higher quality and slightly more niche dining, we expected an initial dip in the number of customers anyway. One upside to the change is that those who have come through the door are willing to treat themselves to quality meals rather than looking for a bargain.”