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    Brits spent £1.2BILLION going out on the first weekend of full reopening


    Britons spent an estimated £1.2billion at pubs, restaurants and cafes as they celebrated the first weekend of indoor hospitality in more than five months.

    Some 46.6million people are thought to have headed out between last Friday and Sunday, with Saturday being the peak day as 18.3million people spent £426million.

    On the first weekend that punters could sit indoors since December 16, consumers are thought to have spent 41 per cent more on Saturday than the same day in 2019.

    Indoor businesses including cinemas also had a much-need surge in income as they benefited from wet conditions, with Cineworld hailing a ‘strong opening weekend’.

    The cinema chain said its first week since the UK reopening was buoyed by the success of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which drew in family audiences.

    The estimated data on hospitality spending was released by VoucherCodes.co.uk after being compiled by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) last week.

    The study also found hospitality is set to bounce back in 2021, making £80.6billion by the end of the year – 63 per cent more than in 2020.

    Looking ahead to 2022, hospitality venues are forecast to take in £120.6billion by the end of the year, which is 50 per cent or £40billion more than in 2021.

    Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, told MailOnline today: ‘This is another important step on the road to freedom and the recovery of our sector. We know Brits cannot wait to get back inside a warm pub.

    ‘However, inside opening with restrictions is still not enough to secure the survival of pubs. We need them to be fully reopened without any restrictions at all from June 21 to survive and trade viably.’

    Last Monday, cinemas and indoor hospitality venues got the go ahead to welcome customers again after an enforced closure due to the third coronavirus lockdown.

    It came after a tough 2020 impacted by lockdowns, delays to release dates and a big shift towards streaming services.

    Mooky Greidinger, chief executive of Cineworld, said the business expects its recovery to gather pace with another ‘strong’ weekend predicted amid releases of Cruella and A Quiet Place 2.

    Cineworld said its UK cinemas reported strong concession income as guests bought plenty of popcorn and drinks.

    In March, the group slumped to a record £2.2billion loss for the past year after revenues were hammered by the closures.

    The chain said it also opened 167 more US cinemas this week, which it operates under the Regal chain, meaning that 97 per cent of its cinemas are now trading.

    Mr Greidinger said: ‘We are thrilled to have our cinemas back in business in the US and UK and to welcome movie fans back to the big screen for an exciting and full slate of films.

    ‘We are especially pleased with the warm welcome our employees have received, and the positive feedback from returning guests.

    ‘When combined with improving consumer confidence and the success of the vaccination rollout, we expect a good recovery in attendance over the coming months, noting the record-breaking success of F9 in the Asian market.

    ‘We are excited for our customers to experience the magic of big screen entertainment again, all made possible by the hard work of our colleagues around the world, and remain committed to be the best place to watch a movie.’

    Source: Daily Mail