The travel, hospitality and leisure industry has cause for optimism in 2022, as attempts are made to accelerate away from the worst of the pandemic. However, the impact of the past two years has taken many businesses in the sector to the brink, with many more lost for good.

The flatlining of demand, waves of cancellations, staffing challenges and fluctuating restrictions on trading have all been perpetuated by the pandemic, but a number of disruptive forces now face operators now shifting focus to growth rather than survival. Supply chain challenges – further exacerbated by the unfolding crisis in Ukraine – and inflationary pressures continue to bite hard, while the unwinding of government support, which kept so many businesses afloat in 2020 and 2021, will also be cause for concern.

It is clear that the hospitality landscape has changed immeasurably. Consumers have become even more discerning – and demanding – when it comes to provenance, convenience and cost, while investors are also sharpening their focus upon all matters ESG when considering acquisition targets. In a market where M&A has been suppressed for some time, an expected uptick in activity means that any businesses coming to market will need to stand out from the pack, with the highest quality operational performance to maximise value this year.

In our guide below, we assess five critical areas that operators should have front of mind to drive growth and ensure shareholder value can be recaptured and grown sustainably.