Sorry for the doom and gloom. Although I do love a whinge, I do try to remain positive, but I fear for the future even after furlough. I am one of the lucky ones, and my company has joined the Extended Furlough scheme, which will continue until spring. However, elsewhere in the hospitality industry, it not so fortunate.
Wales is coming out of a full lockdown, and those going back to work are trying to establish something of what we know as ordinary life. England, on the other hand, is at the start of their second lockdown. However, the future and job stability is not clear for those who work in travel and tourism.
UK hospitality industry fears 300,000 job losses
I have worked full time since I was 16. At times I’ve had multiple jobs and could do 60-70 hours in a week. Reducing this to 16 hours is hard. With a reduction of income, and the dark, cold, and wet winter days, I am limited to what I can do with my time. It is hard being home, all day every day, on my own. I have joked throughout lockdown that I feel like a 50’s housewife; I cook, I clean and wait for my man to come home from work.
I love working in hospitality and do not want to change what I do for a career. Even when I did the government National Careers Service survey, the top four areas of interest that came up were:
- Hospitality and food
- Retail and sales
- Travel and tourism
- Business and finance
The weather we had this summer was ideal. It was hot and sunny – what a summer should be. People were happy to travel, and because of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme the industry was given a boost. Now the weather has turned, no one is travelling. There are no corporate business bookers because we are working from home. Conferences are not allowed, and you can only have a small wedding ceremony (in Wales). Tourist attractions and museums are also seeing significantly lower footfalls.
I have seen and heard of friends and colleagues from across the industry losing their jobs, or facing considerably reduced hours and pay. Research has also found that 19% of business owners believe they are likely to close for good within 3 to 6 months.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind”
At the beginning of 2020 the “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” message was everywhere, after the unnecessary death of Caroline Flack.
If you can, and when you can, I’d urge you to try new restaurants – especially at hotels, or book a night away. When buying Christmas presents, please consider tourism gift vouchers. There are so many to choose from; afternoon teas, dinner for two and visitor experiences.
Please, do me a favour? If you know someone who works in a hotel, restaurant, museum or tourist attraction, send them a message today. Check-in on them, and tell them how amazing you think they are. Trust me; it will make their day!