Some swimming pools already had to close because of the rising electricity and gas prices. According to the Hungarian Spa Association, it can affect half of the facilities in the country.
As the end of summer was approaching, many spas offered cheaper tickets than their usual seasonal passes. But the price of energy is increasing and the number of guests is falling. This can force about half of the Hungarian baths to close from autumn until the first half of the next year.
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The last two years were hard on everyone in tourism, including the spa industry. After the close-downs and restrictions caused by the pandemic, these businesses were just about to recover when the war broke out in Ukraine, resulting in skyrocketing energy prices.
People from countries east of Hungary are frequent visitors of our spas, and in the last months, the number of guests has decreased by 20-50 percent compared to expectations, said Zoltán Kántás, president of the Hungarian Spa Association. He said every facility that continued to operate in the same way as before took a huge risk because the prices were only going to get higher.
According to surveys conducted by the association, many baths find it necessary to restrict their services (for example saunas). This will lead to a further decrease in visitors and profits.
One-third or half of the spas will be forced to close until the first half of the next year
– said Kántás. Some places are in an easier situation while others have it harder: it helps to maintain operation if they have a fixed contract for their gas and electricity for the next year or are mostly independent of gas. However, it is high time to modernise most of the buildings’ energy efficiency.
The most affected facilities are Hévíz, Bük, Sárvár, Debrecen, Hajdúszoboszló, Nyíregyháza, Harkány and Gyula, but almost all spas face difficulties to remain open and maintain the quality of their services. Part of Hungary’s visitors are coming for the spas, so these events can negatively affect the already struggling tourism sector.
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Source: Index, infostart
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