Tue, 29 Sep 2020

A waiter wearing a face mask serves customers at a reopened restaurant in Berlin, Germany, on May 16, 2020. (Photo by Binh Truong/Xinhua)

German companies in the hotel and restaurant industry suffered an average turnover decline of 60.1 percent in the first seven months of the year.

In April, sales had a "dramatic" drop of 86.8 percent.

BERLIN, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Almost 60 percent of German companies in the hotel and restaurant industry saw their existence at risk, the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) announced on Tuesday.

Companies suffered an average turnover decline of 60.1 percent in the first seven months of the year, according to a company survey by DEHOGA among 7,200 restaurant and hotel operators. In April, sales had a "dramatic" drop of 86.8 percent.

Although restaurants and cafes in Germany were allowed to reopen under restrictions and hotels were allowed to accommodate tourists again, the "distress in the industry is still great," DEHOGA noted. After weeks of enforced closures to stop the spread of COVID-19, "huge gaps" in the balance sheets remained.

On Monday, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced that overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses in Germany dropped by 47.1 percent year-on-year to 117.5 million in the first half (H1) of 2020.

A ban on overnight stays for tourists in Germany had been temporarily introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March. The ban was lifted between the middle and end of May, depending on the federal state.

Overnight stays by domestic guests dropped in H1 by 44.2 percent year-on-year, while the slump in the number of international guests was "even more marked" with a decline of 60.5 percent, according to Destatis.

A waiter wearing a face mask serves customers at a reopened restaurant in Berlin, Germany, on May 16, 2020. (Photo by Binh Truong/Xinhua)

On Monday, Norbert Kunz, managing director of the German Tourism Association (DTV) told the German Press Agency (dpa) that "this year it will hardly be possible to speak of a boom in tourism in Germany" because "losses during the lockdown were too great."

Currently, travelers in popular holiday regions in Germany had to pay more for their overnight stays because prices increased by up to 10 percent, according to Kunz. The North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the foothills of the Alps were currently in particular demand.

For 2020, DEHOGA noted that companies in the hotel and restaurant industry are expecting an average drop in turnover of at least 51.0 percent.

The COVID-19 crisis was "far from over," warned Guido Zoellick, president of DEHOGA, and added that the German hotel and restaurant industry was afraid of the coming winter season. ■

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