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Survey finds tourism firms fear new living wage may impact on business

Chris Scargill, partner at Larking Gowen

Chris Scargill, partner at Larking Gowen

(C) Chris Taylor Photo

Tourism businesses fear they will feel the cost of the new national living wage, an annual industry survey has found.

The Larking Gowen 2016 Tourism Business Survey has found that 30pc of those surveyed fear the wage, which came into force on April 1 and affects workers aged 25 and above, would have a significantly negative impact on business.

Speaking ahead of the full survey results release next week, Chris Scargill, tourism and leisure partner at the chartered accountants, said: “The tourism and leisure sector is driven by the amount of spare cash we all have and is by its nature a luxury item.

“After the recession, and throughout the period of austerity, while businesses have seen growth in

turnover this has been due to the growth in numbers rather than simply increased spend.

“Staff costs are a significant proportion of the business costs and while there are many well-paid jobs in the sector the national minimum wage and the national living wage is still a common feature.”

He said the enforced pay rises were “quite substantial”, and businesses would have to cut costs elsewhere.

The full results will be discussed at two seminars held in conjunction with Adnams next week.

The survey also shows that 64pc of businesses saw their turnover grow last year, while 13pc saw a decrease.

Confidence in the sector is high, with 64pc of businesses hopeful for a further increase in turnover in 2016.

One seminar will be held on Wednesday, April 20 at Octagon Barn in Great Plumstead, with another the following day at Copdock Hall in Copdock.

To book a place, visit www.larking-gowen.co.uk/events
If you have a tourism story, email reporter Lauren Cope at lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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