Britons flocked to pubs and bars over bank holiday weekend, figures show
Britons flocked to pubs and pitched tents in camping sites over the bank holiday weekend as the nation saw a spell of warmer weather, according to spending data.
Spending in pubs and bars soared by more than 27% on Saturday and Sunday, compared to the same weekend in May last year, banking giant Barclays’ data found.
And spending in restaurants jumped by more than a 10th, according to the bank which says it sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions.
It marked a significant boost for the UK’s hard-hit hospitality and leisure sectors.
With temperatures reaching highs of 24C in some parts of the UK on Sunday, the hottest day of the year so far, people also made the most of outdoor sports and activities.
Spending on camping and caravan sites surged by 18% year-on-year, while sports centres including football and golf saw a nearly 17% jump in sales.
Marc Pettican, the head of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Consumer spending surged over the weekend, especially in the hospitality and leisure sectors, as the arrival of the warmer weather kicked off more sports and socialising.
“This uplift in trade will be some welcome news for the hospitality sector, amidst the ongoing strain of rising energy bills and the impact of the cost of living.”
“Businesses will no doubt remain hopeful that customers continue to offer their support and keep venues busy as we head into the summer season.”
Hospitality bosses have flagged the industry has been battling against challenges including mammoth energy price increases, more expensive food and wage bills, and pressure on the disposable incomes of its customers.
It has also cautioned over staffing shortages over the past year as vacancies in the sector hit record levels, making it harder for some businesses to run.
On Tuesday, industry bodies joined forces to warn that more venues will shut for good if cost pressures do not ease soon, and called on the Government to recognise the “crisis”.