At the two-day general assembly of the Hungarian Bathing Association (Magyar Fürdőszövetség), the government’s interventions needed to ensure the survival of the baths in 2023 were outlined. According to the president of the Bathing Association, most of the baths will become insolvent next year. Again, the issue of reducing bathing services to 5 percent VAT rate was raised.
Hungarian baths’ survival is uncertain
The study on the survival of the Hungarian Bathing Association has been completed. The professional body made specific proposals on the second day of its general assembly on 15 November, turizmus.com reports. At the general assembly in Esztergom, Zoltán Kántás, president of the Hungarian Bathing Association, outlined the most pressing problems of Hungarian spas.
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Problems and tasks
The most pressing problems, tasks and achievements of Hungarian spas are the following:
- To tackle the unpredictable energy prices caused by the energy crisis;
- Labour shortages plague the sector;
- The need to include spas in the new certification system agreed with the Hungarian Tourism Agency (Magyar Turisztikai Ügynökség, MTÜ);
- The study, which has been prepared with the financial support of the MTÜ following a questionnaire analysis of the spas, will be presented to the membership within days and will contain a package of proposals for the sustainable operation of the sector;
- Under the current regulation, the bathing establishments must be included in the National Tourist Information Centre (Nemzeti Turisztikai Adatszolgáltató Központ, NTAK) scheme within a short timeframe.
The President also spoke bluntly about the threats to spas, napi.hu writes. He said:
- By the beginning of 2023, a significant number of spas could be insolvent.
- Even those that are operational will be forced to cut back on services, which could lead to a drop in demand.
- As consumers’ incomes fall, the number of solvent consumers will also fall.
What should the government do to help?
The Bathing Association wants the government to set up a targeted support scheme for baths to finance energy costs. It would be important to regulate the terms of energy contracts for spas. Launch subsidy tenders for the energy upgrading of spas. Move spa services to the reduced VAT rate of 5 percent.
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Source: turizmus.com, napi.hu
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