Despite the UK officially going back into recession last week, research carried out by accountancy firm RSM Tenon has shown that hospitality and leisure businesses are far more confident about the second quarter of 2012 than they were at the beginning of the year.
The research, entitled A Return to Growth? surveyed 102 UK owners of hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs.
Six out of 10 of the businesses polled said that they were confident that they would hit revenue targets for this quarter, with 14% of these saying they were "very confident". This represented a rise in confidence of nearly 20%, compared with the first quarter of 2012.
However, just under half of all the businesses surveyed said that they disagreed that the Olympic Games would be a significant boost to their business. In London alone, three times as many businesses disagreed, rather than agreed, that they would see any benefit from the games.
Jonathan Perrin, RSM Tenon's head of hospitality and leisure, said: "It is great news that confidence in the sector is returning, despite the UK economy slipping back into recession. I suspect this might be because even though there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the economy, there is less panic in the sector then there was at the beginning of the year.
"The biggest surprise in the research was the high level of business owners that don't think the Olympic Games will give them a significant boost - especially those in London. Business owners have concerns about the usual tourist trade avoiding London during the games as well as the risk of last-minute price cutting. However, the real legacy of the games for the hospitality and leisure industry could very well be the Olympic tourists that come back to the UK to visit."
By Janet Harmer
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