The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Hospitality vital to social mental health and wellbeing

A new international survey has shown the importance of hospitality to society’s mental health and wellbeing.

Key insights from YouGov research found that hospitality venues make an important contribution to social and mental wellbeing.

  • 66% of adults polled agreed the social and mental wellbeing of the general population has been negatively impacted as a direct result of the closure of hospitality venues.
  • 45% agreed that their own social and mental wellbeing had been negatively affected by closure of cafes, bars, and restaurants.
  • Since lockdowns, 57% of adults have a better appreciation for the contribution the hospitality sector brings to their own social and mental wellbeing.

The research also found that hospitality venues offer important spaces for people to reconnect with others around them, promoting positive social and mental wellbeing.

  • More than one-in-five (22%) said cafés, bars, and restaurants now have greater significance as places to avoid feelings of loneliness.
  • 45% agreed that socialising with friends and family outside the home once any restrictions lifted has had the biggest impact on their happiness.

Hospitality NZ CEO Julie White says the global research confirms what the industry has known locally for a long time.

“Hospitality has always been key to the social fabric of New Zealand,” she says.

“Ongoing lockdowns, limited social interaction and COVID restrictions, while vital to New Zealand’s physical health response, has negatively impacted Kiwis’ mental health, social cohesion and the opportunity to catch up with friends and family.

“This research points to the importance of reopening hospitality safely as soon as possible, to help facilitate social reconnection and communities to get back on their feet.”

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