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Sustainability ; 13(24):15, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1626985

ABSTRACT

This research evaluates the effect of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic on sport Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and consumer expenditure in the leisure sector in the United Kingdom (UK). The leisure sector is divided into leisure at home and away from home, examining in this way the different patterns that emerged because of the national lockdown in 2020. The effect on sport GDP is examined using the Office for National Statistics (ONS) surveys and the UK Sport Satellite Account (SSA). The study found that, because of its reliance on human contact, sport GDP is likely to decline by more than twice the rate of the overall economy. Furthermore, this finding is consistent with the 2020 consumer expenditure on leisure that shows increases in spending on home leisure but also a huge decline in spending on out-of-home entertainment. The decline in GDP is extremely likely to put pressure on profit margins and hence threaten the survival of private enterprises, raising issues of sustainability under conditions of a pandemic. Increases in long-term public funding for reducing sport inequalities should be considered along with short-term relief packages for the sport sector. Additional policy suggestions are offered to address these issues.

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