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Gastronomy: Sales in the hospitality industry remain well below pre-Corona levels

Gastronomy: Sales in the hospitality industry remain well below pre-Corona levels

The hospitality industry is recovering slowly after the pandemic. The reintroduction of the regular VAT rate is also making itself felt.

The hospitality industry in Germany is still in the shadow of the Corona crisis. In February, sales increased by 0.5 percent (in real terms) compared to the previous month, adjusted for price increases, and by 1.2 percent in nominal terms. Compared to January 2019, i.e. before the outbreak of the pandemic, there was a real drop in sales of 14 percent, as the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden announced.

In the case of accommodation providers, income fell by 1.6 percent in real terms in February compared to January 2024. Compared to February 2023, sales fell by 0.9 percent. Compared to pre-Corona levels, hotels, guesthouses and the like recorded a decline of 9.5 percent.

In real terms, sales in the catering industry rose by 0.6 percent compared to the previous month of January and fell by 1.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Compared to February 2019, revenues were still 15.7 percent lower.

With the reintroduction of the regular VAT rate of 19 percent for food in restaurants since January 1, 2024, the costs for customers are generally increasing – many businesses pass the higher tax on to the guests. Industry observers are therefore expecting more bankruptcies in the catering industry this year. During the Corona pandemic, the federal government temporarily supported the hospitality industry with a reduced VAT rate. Despite protests from the industry, it expired at the turn of the year.

Source: Stern

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