The relaxing of pandemic restrictions resulted in a strong staycation summer which was welcomed by hoteliers in Bristol.
However hospitality business leaders have warned that job vacancies are still on the rise, with more than 500 roles advertised across the sector, as the season comes to an end.
Members of The Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) say business has been booming in recent weeks but this short-term gain has only highlighted how challenging the staff shortage is, with hotels in the city still carrying around hundreds of vacancies.
BHA chairman Raphael Herzog said: “We have enjoyed a very, very strong summer and occupancy rates at Bristol hotels has been very high, which we are delighted about. Bristol is one of the busiest cities in the UK.
“It’s a sign that consumer confidence is returning and we are hoping this will continue now that the school holidays have ended.”
He added that the prospect of large conferences returning could bring a boost as businesses get back on their feet.
“We’re hoping for large conferences to return, which will provide us with a good business base for the final quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Hopefully we’ll start seeing an increase in enquiries now that the traditional summer holiday period is over.”
He added: “Staffing remains our biggest challenge and unemployment is still very high.”
“Changes need to be made to allow EU workers to be able to return to UK hospitality businesses, otherwise we are going to continue to struggle,” he said.