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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Keep fighting

A new report from Deloitte and EuropeActive shows how much our fate is tied to government support and must spur us on to recommit to ramping up lobbying for essential status

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 6
Government policies have a huge impact on participation / Photo: The Gym Group
Government policies have a huge impact on participation / Photo: The Gym Group
Now’s the time to be uniting and recommitting to lobbying for essential status and VAT breaks for members

New research from Deloitte and EuropeActive, out this month (see page 58), dramatically highlights the impact of government policy on the prospects of the health and fitness sector across Europe.

This is the eighth edition of the European Health & Fitness Market Report and the authors note that this is the first time the sector has contracted in size.

The changes are especially marked given we came off the back of a record-breaking year in 2019, when the industry in Europe reached €28.2bn in turnover. This dropped to €18.9bn in 2020 – a 32.9 per cent fall.

The report reveals that the impact of the pandemic has been uneven across Europe, with government pandemic responses, legal frameworks, and tax regimes having a major impact on trading in the sector during 2020.

Lockdowns ranged in extent from Sweden, where there were no closures, to the UK, where operators lost more than 50 per cent of trading time across the year.

This uneven lockdown response saw UK operators such as Nuffield recording drops in revenue of 46.5 per cent against SATS in Sweden with 18.5 per cent.

Member numbers were also impacted by the pandemic in 2020, however, Germany, where contracts tie consumers into ongoing payments, saw operators faring better than in many other countries, for example.

As highlighted by the report, VAT rates on health club fees have also played a part in the success of the sector, with varying rates being reported, from a low of 0 per cent for Swedish public sector providers to 27 per cent in Hungary, with other nations ranged in between.

Deloitte points out that where VAT on fees has been reduced and that reduction has been passed on to consumers, there have been increases in participation.

Ireland is cited as an example – VAT was reduced from 13.5 per cent to 9.0 per cent, prompting a corresponding increase in ‘personal exercise in gyms and leisure centres’ from 11 per cent to 13.8 per cent and showing how powerful government support can be.

During lockdowns, huge energy went into lobbying for essential status and VAT breaks. This has inevitably waned a little since trading recommenced, however, the Deloitte report highlights how important it is that we keep fighting until governments recognise the full impact they have on participation and the success of the sector.

COVID-19 variants are driving infection rates and we have another long autumn and winter ahead in Europe, so now’s the time to be uniting and recommitting to this essential lobbying.

Let’s get behind EuropeActive, ukactive, and the other 24 European fitness associations and ensure our voice is heard and that we get the support and recognition we need to be able to optimise our valuable work.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/803528_370820.jpg
Government interventions are shaping the industry, says Liz Terry
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features

Editor's letter: Keep fighting

A new report from Deloitte and EuropeActive shows how much our fate is tied to government support and must spur us on to recommit to ramping up lobbying for essential status

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 6
Government policies have a huge impact on participation / Photo: The Gym Group
Government policies have a huge impact on participation / Photo: The Gym Group
Now’s the time to be uniting and recommitting to lobbying for essential status and VAT breaks for members

New research from Deloitte and EuropeActive, out this month (see page 58), dramatically highlights the impact of government policy on the prospects of the health and fitness sector across Europe.

This is the eighth edition of the European Health & Fitness Market Report and the authors note that this is the first time the sector has contracted in size.

The changes are especially marked given we came off the back of a record-breaking year in 2019, when the industry in Europe reached €28.2bn in turnover. This dropped to €18.9bn in 2020 – a 32.9 per cent fall.

The report reveals that the impact of the pandemic has been uneven across Europe, with government pandemic responses, legal frameworks, and tax regimes having a major impact on trading in the sector during 2020.

Lockdowns ranged in extent from Sweden, where there were no closures, to the UK, where operators lost more than 50 per cent of trading time across the year.

This uneven lockdown response saw UK operators such as Nuffield recording drops in revenue of 46.5 per cent against SATS in Sweden with 18.5 per cent.

Member numbers were also impacted by the pandemic in 2020, however, Germany, where contracts tie consumers into ongoing payments, saw operators faring better than in many other countries, for example.

As highlighted by the report, VAT rates on health club fees have also played a part in the success of the sector, with varying rates being reported, from a low of 0 per cent for Swedish public sector providers to 27 per cent in Hungary, with other nations ranged in between.

Deloitte points out that where VAT on fees has been reduced and that reduction has been passed on to consumers, there have been increases in participation.

Ireland is cited as an example – VAT was reduced from 13.5 per cent to 9.0 per cent, prompting a corresponding increase in ‘personal exercise in gyms and leisure centres’ from 11 per cent to 13.8 per cent and showing how powerful government support can be.

During lockdowns, huge energy went into lobbying for essential status and VAT breaks. This has inevitably waned a little since trading recommenced, however, the Deloitte report highlights how important it is that we keep fighting until governments recognise the full impact they have on participation and the success of the sector.

COVID-19 variants are driving infection rates and we have another long autumn and winter ahead in Europe, so now’s the time to be uniting and recommitting to this essential lobbying.

Let’s get behind EuropeActive, ukactive, and the other 24 European fitness associations and ensure our voice is heard and that we get the support and recognition we need to be able to optimise our valuable work.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/803528_370820.jpg
Government interventions are shaping the industry, says Liz Terry
Latest News
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show ...
Latest News
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of ...
Latest News
The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first ...
Latest News
The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled again and will now take ...
Latest News
Rainer Schaller, founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, says that the global fitness industry will ...
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The most high-risk and controversial Olympics of modern times begin today (23 July) in Tokyo, ...
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Further research into the levels of positive COVID-19 cases among those to have visited fitness ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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