Britons cut back on driving and hotels amid recession fears

Hotel News - 15/12/2011

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Tuesday’s updates showed many that travel and service industry firms are beginning to feel the effects of growing fears of a double-dip recession. Hoteliers are among the most adversely affected whilst public transport continues to grow.

The news comes after 12 months of only slight growth in the UK economy in addition to a rise in unemployment figures and increasingly cash-strapped consumers.

Whitbread has been perhaps the most resilient UK-based hoteliers, largely as a result of its success among leisure and business guests via its Premier Inn brand as well as its Costa Coffee chains; results from both show each has apparently been accepted as ‘affordable luxuries’. But the company’s results released earlier this week showed a significant and sudden slump in sales, which Whitbread says is not surprising given the bigger picture.

On Tuesday, Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison called the company’s disappointing results a “reflection” of the global economic climate.

At the same time, rail and bus operating firm Go-Ahead has said that thanks to consumers increasingly turning to public transport that the company was expecting to surpass its previous full-year profit forecasts. David Brown, Go-Ahead chief executive, said that people were taking advantage of a high value-for-money alternative to utilising private vehicles.

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