Hotel managers in Budapest have already given up on a good season, and the sector still faces many problems. They claim in the case of a fourth wave in the autumn, hotels in Budapest might not survive.
According to HVG, the Football Championship did not bring the expected recovery. An even bigger problem is that workers who left the field during the epidemic do not want to return due to the tourism sector’s instability.
The hotel industry has been eagerly waiting for the EU Covid card, with which anyone – especially those who came from “green” or “yellow” areas – can move freely within the Schengen area. However, even with the possibility to travel freely, it does not look like a promising season for the capital, hotel managers told HVG.
Tamás Flesch, the president of the Association of Hungarian Hotels and Restaurants, says that the industry had high hopes for the football championship. Still, the matches did not attract as many foreigners as they hoped. The Netherlands-Czech Republic match attracted the most tourists to Budapest, while surprisingly few came to see Hungary play against Portugal.
According to Balázs Kovács, the CEO of Danubius,
the summer will be tragic in the capital.
The capital’s tourism mostly depends on foreigners, claims ATV. With the campaigns around the world suggesting not to travel abroad this year, however, tourism is in danger. Kovács says the delta variant brings more uncertainties; Britain applying stricter policies, for example, is terrible news for the Hungarian market much loved by the British tourists.
One solution for the lack of traffic could be attracting rural tourists to the capital. The Restart campaign started in June tries to show domestic tourists that Budapest is not expensive with several discounts and offers.
The managers of Budapest hotels seem to agree that while it is a noble goal to open up to domestic tourism, rural guests will not save the season. It will take around two to three years for the industry to recover, claims the director of Aquincum Hotel, Philippe Mahuas.
“Until the borders open, there will be no tourism here,”Philippe Mahuas claims.
An even bigger problem is the lack of labour. Many professionals have left the field and are now distrustful of it, afraid of a fourth wave. There is a particularly great shortage of chefs, maids, and waiters, claims HVG.
In case another wave hits Hungary in the autumn, the sector should receive more support than before, the experts say. “The sector is tormented, the reserves have run out, the amount of previous subsidies should be increased,” says Balázs Kovács.