The UK's economic outlook is booming, with large businesses across the nation basking in an atmosphere of optimism, according to Barclays Business Barometer.
A recent survey by Barclays focused on large businesses, which measures the UK corporate business environment in the hospitality and leisure, retail, and manufacturing industries, shows 76 percent of these enterprises express optimism about their prospects, and 59 percent hold a positive view of the broader UK economy. In sharp contrast, only 19 percent feel pessimistic about the road ahead.
Active Leisure Tourism Fuels the Fire
'Active leisure' tourism is a trend where travelers embrace physical activities such as cycling, running, and walking holidays as their preferred way to explore the world. Sixty-five percent of surveyed business leaders have noted a significant surge in these types of trips, with 71 percent of hospitality businesses experiencing a substantial uptick in foot traffic.
Revenues Soar, Investments Surge
The financial implications are significant, as business revenues for the current quarter are poised to leap an impressive 21 percent year-on-year. On average, this equates to an approximate £14.9 million increase in revenues per surveyed business. Encouraged by these promising figures, 67 percent of UK corporates are gearing up for substantial investments over the next 12 months, geared towards harnessing the active leisure wave.
Businesses Embrace Active Leisure Initiatives
Large businesses have allocated 20 percent of their resources in the past year to entice active leisure customers. Initiatives include amenities like shower facilities and bike racks, interior design upgrades, and new product ranges to cater to this flourishing market segment.
Hospitality and Leisure Sector Rejoices
Amid the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK's hospitality and leisure sector has found a silver lining in the form of active leisure tourism. Seventy-four percent of businesses in this sector credit their increased revenues to the strategic targeting of active leisure tourists. Furthermore, 64 percent of business leaders recognize the role of active leisure tourism in the revival of high streets nationwide.
Historical Sites and Beyond
Active leisure tourists are becoming patrons of historical treasures. Sixty-nine percent of businesses believe active leisure attracts more Britons to visit iconic buildings and sites. Travelers are embarking on journeys across the country to find landmarks featured in their favorite films, TV series, and video games. Seventy-six percent of hospitality and leisure businesses experiencing revenue growth attribute it to active leisure's ability to draw customers beyond their physical premises. One-third (33 percent) of businesses concur that active leisure tourism increased footfall to locations outside London and the South East.
The Generous Spending Power of Active Leisure Tourists
Active leisure tourists are physically and financially active, as businesses acknowledge their propensity to spend more while on holiday. These tourists are more likely to splurge on retail (37 percent), drinks (35 percent), accommodation (32 percent), and dining (31 percent) compared to the average consumer.
A Positive Outlook for the Future
The surge in active leisure holidays in the UK has breathed new life into large businesses, particularly within the hospitality and leisure sector. "The popularity of active leisure holidays in the UK has been a boon for large businesses, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sector. As many more of us visit historic sites and go on more walking trips and cycling tours, businesses in every corner of the country can benefit," said David Farrow, Head of UK Corporate Banking at Barclays.
As the UK continues its journey toward economic resurgence, the story of active leisure tourism stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of British businesses. With optimism in the air and investments on the horizon, the future looks promising, fueled by the passion of active leisure seekers discovering the beauty of the United Kingdom.
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