Hospitality workers priced out of UK tourism hotspots

Hotel employee Jon Phillips has given up attempting to hire a house close to his job in Cornwall and is now dwelling on his boat.

“My landlord said: ‘Look Jon, you’re paying me £800 a month for this one bedroom apartment, and I’ve just found out that I can be charging people on holiday £1,200 a week.'”

He is one of many hospitality workers in British vacationer hotspots who’re discovering lodging scarce.

This is as landlords need to money in on the UK vacation growth.

Jon is the entrance of home supervisor for Red Hotels, which incorporates the Scarlet Hotel and the Bedruthan Hotel in Mawgan Porth, alongside the coast from Newquay.

He moved to Cornwall to take up his job in October 2020, and, after staying in employees lodging, in January started renting a one-bedroom flat in Newquay for £800 a month.

But in the beginning of April he had a letter from the brokers to inform him his landlord had determined to finish the tenancy.

Jon began on the lookout for different locations to dwell however says there was nowhere to hire within the Newquay space.

“If you do go for a property there are more than 30 people going for it.

“When you get to the purpose of being accepted they then flip spherical to you and say ‘Well really we have added one other couple of hundred kilos to the month-to-month hire’.

“Or they may even ask you to pay six months rent in advance, otherwise they’ll go to the next person,” he mentioned.

The UK vacation growth helps to power up rents in locations like Newquay

Jon instructed Radio 4’s You and Yours: “The day that Boris Johnston announced that people could start going into self-catered accommodation, that’s when everything changed.

“Because each proprietor of a property in Cornwall knew that the British public can be baying for self-catered lodging and prepared to pay ridiculous quantities of cash to safe their vacation within the UK.

“I’m rather lucky because I do own a boat, and I’m now living on my boat, so I can at least carry on working in Cornwall. But what does anyone else do?

“In the autumn issues will settle down once more and these landlords might be going cap-in-hand to individuals who dwell within the space, wanting them to hire their locations over the winter once more, and the check might be, how many individuals will flip round and say ‘No’?”

With lockdown easing the hospitality sector is opening up, but there is a huge shortage of staff.

UK Hospitality, the trade body that represents the industry, has estimated that there is a shortage of about 188,000 workers.

Hospitality jobs are traditionally some of the lowest paid roles, and the increasing cost of finding a place to live in areas like Cornwall and the Lake District is making it harder for hotels, restaurants and bars to recruit staff.

Emma Stratton owns Red Hotels. She currently has at least 20 vacancies being advertised, and she says she’s struggling to find workers.

“We’ve had individuals who’ve accepted employment affords with us after which have not been capable of finding lodging and have needed to flip the job down,” she said.

“We’re fortunate in that now we have rather a lot of staff lodging so we’re capable of provide rooms to key individuals, however many companies simply do not have that.

“The wider problem is, it’s not making living in places like Cornwall very easy for local people, and that seems to be causing growing resentment in communities.”

Her enterprise pays employees the actual dwelling wage of £9.50 an hour and says she believes the trade must decide to the long run affordability of roles.

Nikola Kubeckova is a payroll administrator on the Red Hotel group. She and her companion rented a cottage within the Newquay space in 2014 when she moved from the Czech Republic, however in April her landlord requested for the property again.

Row of houses in Newquay Cornwall

High rents are pushing up wages in hospitality and that may imply prospects paying extra, the trade says

“It was very difficult to find somewhere to rent. We didn’t really get a chance to see many properties, because there were just way too many applicants. Every time something new came up we tried to see it but it was pretty much impossible,” she says.

Kate Nicholls, the Chief Executive of UK Hospitality, says the scarcity of inexpensive lodging is affecting employees in tourism hotspots throughout the UK.

She says companies are having to pay extra to draw employees and that may have an effect within the value customers pay.

She says: “We are starting to see wage rate inflation coming through in certain parts of the country and in certain roles, where the local labour market does need to have high wages to attract the staff to those roles, and that’s feeding through into customer prices.”

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