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A Quarter of Hungarian Hotels Remain Closed after Pandemic

Júlia Tar 2022.05.18.

More than 200 hotels have not reopened their doors in Hungary this year. But inflation has compensated for many of the closures, as room rates rose significantly compared to 2019, Index reports.

According to Index, while about three years ago there were 945 hotels listed in the statistics of the Central Statistics Office (KSH), in 2022 only 719, or 226 in total, will no longer be on the market- a loss of 24%.

Of the 203 hotels in Budapest, 157 are still in operation (46 temporarily or permanently closed), a 23% decrease, in line with the national average.

Most of the hotels in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county decided to close. Here, travelers can choose from only 13 hotels instead of 23. But Lake Balaton and Somogy counties also saw a 38% drop. In this area, 31 out of 50 establishments remained open.

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A source with knowledge of the hotel industry told news site 444 that there are many reasons for closure. These include renovation, lack of staff, and rising costs. The source says the government’s rescue package was not enough to help either.

According to 444, the Hungarian Tourism Agency’s previous position was that they did everything to ensure that the sector would regenerate as soon as possible after the launch. In reality, however, in Austria, for example, hotels were reimbursed 80% of their pre-pandemic revenues, in Hungary the state reimbursed 80% of the already low occupancy rate due to the epidemic, but only if no one was dismissed. Many could not meet this condition.

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Many closures have been compensated by sudden inflation. According to data from the Hotel Association, the average gross room rate in March 2022 was 31 percent higher in Budapest and 45.6 percent higher at Lake Balaton compared to 2019. This was also due to the fact that three years ago it cost 316 forints, and now in March, it is 376 forints per euro.

You can check out how many hotels are operating in each county in Hungary on this map created by 444 (with data from March 2022).

Featured photo illustration via Pixabay


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