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News - 1 May 2004
Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well...but what is happening in the hotel sector?
According to the latest Barclays' Start-ups and Closures report 465,000 new companies were set up in 2003 – an increase of 20% since the previous year. This beats all previous records since the first report in 1988. The hospitality sector, however, has shown an overall decline with start-ups falling by 28% over the same period.
Could the fall in the number of people opening new hotels be indicative of a weakening of the tourism market generally? Or does it conversely indicate an increase in stability in the sector? Unlike businesses in the other sectors studied hotels tend to start up when existing ones close.
Bruce Nairne, Economic & Business Research Officer at Brighton & Hove City Council does not see the figures as ominous. "In Brighton we have had a fairly stable sector for a number of years where growth is pretty much in step with other sectors. The number of closure usually coincides with the number of start-ups with perhaps one notable exception in 2002 where the balance was in favour of start-ups. This could help to explain why there is a significant fall in the percentage of start-ups for 2003. But it doesn't change the overall picture."
Looking across all business sectors the south-east was among the country's growth leaders with 16 new companies per 1000 people. London and the south-west were slightly ahead with 18 and the national average was 15.
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