Partial recovery for hospitality over summer 2021 to be short-lived due to ‘fourth wave’ of Covid-19 cases

Turnover figures for the European hospitality sector over the course of summer 2021 hinted at a return to ‘business-as-usual’ for the sector, with turnover figures largely exceeding those recorded in summer 2020 and at almost comparable levels, albeit lower, with those recorded during summer 2019. Only France, Bulgaria and Romania recorded higher turnover rates over summer 2021 compared to summer 2019.

Despite the success of the EU Covid pass and the lifting of restrictions on hospitality businesses, the sector’s optimism has been short-lived, as Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations have grown rapidly across Europe this autumn. Several European countries have reintroduced partial lockdown measures or more stringent requirements to attend hospitality venues. The return of business travel, which is a crucial source of business for hospitality in autumn, is likely to be heavily impacted.

As such, it appears essential that support measures for the sector remain active at the European and national levels. The sector needs to deal with a return to expected lower turnover levels over the next months; at the same time, long-lasting consequences of the pandemic on the sector such as staff shortages, accumulation of debt and the expiration of tax moratoriums will continue affecting establishments’ capacity to function and remain in business.

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