UK rail strikes led to clubs and venues seeing a 50% downturn in trade over the busiest weekend of the year, according to data from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).
The figure, garnered from venues across the country, is worse than the 30% hit the NTIA had previously predicted.
NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said the impact of strikes held on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 mean the Government must offer more support to those hospitality venues who had been looking forward to a first Christmas period without COVID restrictions in three years.
He said: “With an estimated £2bn in lost revenue, and costs due to increase in the new year, the current trading environment is untenable for businesses.
“The Government must extend the energy relief scheme, and consider further support for the night time economy and hospitality sectors to avoid a huge swathe of businesses going into insolvency in January.”
Rail strikes also took place on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14. Strike action will run from Christmas Eve through to December 27. Up to 30% of train services are expected to be cancelled on non-strike days between December 19 and January 3 if workers stick to their hours.
With commuters advised to only travel if necessary, many are choosing not to attend Christmas parties and other festive celebrations.