If PM Orban’s calculations are correct, the number of vaccinated people in Hungary could reach 4 million sometime this week, setting off the next wave of grand openings, including that of hotels. But there are a few obstacles in the way.
As Portfolio.hu writes, in the past six months, hotels have only been allowed to welcome guests who are on business trips or travelling for education. Now, they might get to open their doors for ordinary guests, however, there may not be enough of them, especially in Budapest, without foreign visitors, remarked Tamás Flesch, President of the Hungarian Hotel & Restaurant Association. And that is the smallest of the problems that hotel owners are facing.
Many companies within the hospitality industry have had to bid goodbye to their employees, some of whom have found a good enough job elsewhere, while
others might be reluctant to return to their previous position due to the precariousness of the pandemic situation.
There are no official figures, but according to estimates, approximately half of hotel employees should have been able to retain their jobs. Most of them have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, but this fortunate fact could also have negative repercussions on the local labour market. As Zoltán Czellecz, director of the temp agency Work Force explained, this could push hotels and restaurants located in other countries that are lagging behind in vaccinating their citizens to hire people from abroad, including Hungary.
This could also result in increased salary demands, to top off the enormous loss in revenue that hotels have suffered and the costs of reopening which can easily reach tens of millions of forints (HUF 10 million = EUR 27,500).
And even if all that works out, there is another catch: the immunity certificates. As hvg.hu reports, PM Orbán has announced that only people brandishing the infamous plastic card will be allowed inside hotels. In spite of this, many places of accommodation say they will not require them, as they do not want to discriminate against potential guests. Some already report reservations being cancelled by people who lack a valid certificate. Expectations are that larger hotels will not be able to circumvent the law once it comes into effect (so far, it has not), but smaller guesthouses and similar types of accommodation might be able to house those without a card.
Source: portfolio.hu, hvg.hu