Hungarian tourism is beginning to regain its old form. The tourist turnover of 2019 has not yet been achieved. However, domestic tourism in July and August 2021 is ahead of last year’s performance. The biggest problem is that hotels and restaurants are struggling with labour shortage.
Both foreign and domestic tourism have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In the period before, the revenue of Hungarian tourism increased year by year. However, in the year 2020, the epidemic made life extremely difficult for those working in the tourism sector, writes origo.hu. Many places had to be kept closed for a longer period of time and could later only serve a limited number of guests. Due to the spread of vaccination, this year’s statistical indicators are more favourable.
Labour shortage is the biggest problem nowadays.
Plenty of people who used to work in hotels or restaurants have changed professions as a result of the virus. Many previous workers of this sector do not want to return to the hospitality sector because they think their future here is uncertain. According to experts, about 40-50 thousand employees are missing from the tourism sector, writes portfolio.hu.
Chefs and waiters are the most in demand. The difficulty is that labour has become 20 per cent more expensive on average, while raw materials have become 10 per cent more expensive in restaurants. Owners are trying to make up for the shortage with student workers. However, many restaurants and hotels receive fewer guests than before. Because they cannot serve as many people as they used to, they do not want it to go to the detriment of the standards.
Despite the strengthening of domestic tourism, few foreigners come to Hungary.
There was a significant number of foreign tourists in the Hungarian capital only during the Formula 1 weekend. It is especially characteristic of Budapest that it relies on foreign tourists. However, the proportion of Hungarians in the case of rural hotels is also higher than before. Many restaurants in the capital are still not open.
Experts are confident that St. Stephen’s Day on August 20 and the autumn program series will bring success and more visitors. In addition, with the end of the Lake Balaton season, workers will go back to Budapest and spa towns. According to surveys, foreigners usually go on longer (4-7 nights), while domestic guests go on shorter stays of 1-2 nights.