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Unprecedented challenges: Hungarian hotel industry struggles with COVID-19 crisis

Unprecedented challenges: Hungarian hotel industry struggles with COVID-19 crisis
Written by Harry S. Johnson

Horwath HTL Hungary, in cooperation with the Hungarian Hotel & Restaurant Association, provides a snapshot report based on a national online sentiment survey to reflect on the unprecedented challenges in 2020, through the first- hand feedback of hoteliers.

The current crisis cannot be compared with previous crises, due to its main cause and nature. For that reason, it is important to highlight that the survey is limited to presenting a snapshot in time, even if its conclusions are based on observations of the summer season during which many restrictions were eased. 

Actions such as the severe travel restrictions introduced on the 1st of September in Hungary or other global or EU level measures can fundamentally transform short- and mid-term expectations. 

In addition, the end of state-subsidised wage support period (for most hotels in August or September) could easily trigger a second wave of mass downsizing, further damaging the industry.

Key Findings:

  • The result of our survey revealed that Budapest hotels expect an over 70% revenue loss in 2020 vs 2019. In contrast less than half (42%) of respondents from the countryside hotels expect a loss of between 20% to 40%.
  • The majority of Budapest hoteliers expect having to wait until 2023-2024, to reach 2019 GOP results, while countryside hotels expect the recover by 2021-2022.
  • It is important to mention that 10% of respondents were still closed in September, of which 90% are located in Budapest.

The crucial importance of the extension of wage support is evident both in Budapest and the countryside.