Hospitality is one of the sectors still being worst hit by the recession, new figures confirm.
The latest PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) research found that 239 hospitality and leisure companies became insolvent in the first quarter of 2011 - out of a total of 979 for the period - making it one of the worst affected sectors in the UK.
Pubs and restaurants felt the brunt of consumers' reluctance to spend, with 70 and 119 businesses respectively becoming insolvent. Wet-led pubs and pubs with no food offering continued to be the hardest hit.
But it was not all bad news. A separate PwC survey of Small Luxury Hotels of the World club members found that 30% of respondents considered booking a holiday this year a spending priority, although short value breaks were the order of the day.
Robert Milburn, hospitality and leisure leader at PwC, said: "Surveys carried out by PwC show that consumers are less likely to cut back on holidays than at the start of the recession and more likely to cut back on discretionary spend on socialising - like drinking and dining out."
He warned that these trends could continue throughout the year, adding: "Recessionary behaviours are now the norm and the focus on buying clever has certainly stuck with the consumer."
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By Emily Manson
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