Despite the worrying news from all around the country, Budapest will not close any of its spas. The lack of Russian tourists means an approximately 15 percent deficit and energy prices are sky high, yet closures are not necessary. And this is just the start as the next year will be even harder.
The 3-fold energy cost increase
The capital city’s spa and bath operator company has immense costs to pay. Previously they paid 38 HUF (0.09 EUR)/MWh, while this year it is 83 HUF (0.21 EUR)/MWh. Next year everything will be much worse as current offers mention that prices might increase by 3.5 times. In the case of natural gas, the situation is even more extreme as the price of one cubic metre of natural gas has risen from 74 HUF (0.18 EUR) to 205,6 HUF (0.51 EUR). But this is not the worst part because from October the price of natural gas will be 1,300 HUF (3.23 EUR) for every cubic metre. But the Budapest Gyógyfürdői és Hévízei (BGYH) Zrt. says they had received offers, which would allow them to conclude a successful year.
Despite the tremendous price increase, no baths will be closed — reports Ildikó Szűts, the CEO of BGYH to Népszava. Although, shortened opening hours are possible and access to some services might be limited. BGYH prepares a detailed energy crisis plan to allow data-based decisions searching for saving opportunities. For example, they will only heat 3 saunas instead of 10 and the decision will be based on a cost-benefit analysis. Fortunately, no downsizing is required as of now, unlike during the COVID pandemic.
The price increase is inevitable
However, ticket prices must be increased to keep the equilibrium. The previous price increase, due to inflation was around 20% for foreigners, while for Hungarians it was only 8%. Still, historical baths and spas can be visited for a much cheaper price compared to Western Europe. In the Széchenyi Bath, the pass for one day costs only 17 EUR while in the west a 2-3 hour long ticket can be around 27 EUR. The planned increase will be around 10-15%.
BGYH calculates that profits will still be around 12.1 billion HUF (30,092,765 EUR). To meet their goals, they plan on selling some properties too which the capital’s municipality would buy. Also, they are planning on opening a new hotel next to the Rác Bath, but that is still in the process. Profits in the first half of the year had far exceeded expectations by 2 billion HUF (4,974,010 EUR) and According to the CEO, it can even reach 3.2 billion HUF (7,958,417 EUR) by the end of the year.
Read alsoHungarian tourism in crisis: is there a way out?
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