After heavy losses in the first two years of Corona, the hospitality industry in Germany is gradually approaching the pre-crisis level.
Price-adjusted (real) sales rose sharply last year by 45.4 percent compared to the previous year 2021, which was characterized by lockdowns, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden. The value from the pre-crisis year 2019 was still missed by 12.5 percent. In nominal terms, including the sharp rise in consumer prices, the pre-crisis level was almost reached (minus 0.2 percent).
"The mood moves between hope and skepticism," reported Guido Zöllick, President of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga). "On the one hand, we sense good demand from guests in many establishments. On the other hand, the cost pressure is enormous." With the abolition of the Corona requirements in May 2022, demand has increased continuously, but the challenges for the industry are still great in view of rising energy and food prices and at the same time increasing price sensitivity among guests. Zöllick reiterated the industry's demand to leave VAT on food permanently at 7 percent. The reduced tax rate is valid until the end of the current year.
Weak recovery in gastronomy
Hotels and other accommodation companies increased their sales in real terms by 63.8 percent within one year in 2022. Nevertheless, the level of 2019 was missed by 9.1 percent. Hotels, inns and guesthouses in particular have not been able to fully recover from the losses of the first two years of Corona. Compared to 2019, the minus was 9.4 percent. Holiday accommodation and campsites, on the other hand, were the only hospitality sectors to exceed the pre-crisis level in real terms.
The recovery in gastronomy was weaker with a real increase in sales of 38.7 percent compared to the previous year. Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, a minus of 12.8 percent was recorded. In pubs, bars and discos, sales were almost a third below the 2019 level.
The mood in the hospitality industry had recently brightened somewhat. In a Dehoga survey at the beginning of February, 27.6 percent of the 1,800 participating companies still expected worse business in the next three months. In January it was still 45.0 percent. The proportion of optimists rose from 10.6 percent to 23.0 percent. About every second entrepreneur expects business to remain the same.