Tourism at Lake Balaton is off to a good start this year, according to Balázs Csapody, owner of the Little Grasshopper restaurant in Balatonszemes and president of the Pannon Gastronomy Academy. The restaurant owner told business newspaper Világgazdaság that despite recent price increases in Hungary, accommodation reservations do not appear to be receding, nor do the number of customers at restaurants.
Overall, Csapody explained, there does not seem to be a major compulsion to spend less at tourism hotspots. Regarding price increases, he said, a 15 percent increase compared to last year is unavoidable, but that is a moderate rate compared to the actual and perceptible inflation of prices. In neighboring countries, he added, price increases in hospitality are approaching 30 percent.
During the pandemic, domestic tourism in Hungary shot up, something which will no doubt benefit the Balaton region in the long-term too, Csapody said, as the range of new guests has increased.
A labor shortage and an increase in prices has caused many restaurants to reduce their hours of operation to function properly with fewer employees. Furthermore, due to the jump in utility costs, Csapody explained, kitchens have also begun using more sustainable technologies and reducing the amount of food they waste by narrowing down and rationalizing the selections on their menus to more seasonal options.
Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI