With major losses in the tourism industry, calls for easing restrictions in the Corona crisis are growing louder.
The leading German tourism associations have called for a gradual lifting of the intra-European Corona travel restrictions. Austrian tourism is also pushing for the border to be opened, as Germans make up the majority of guests in the neighbouring country, both in winter and summer.
“Where hygiene rules are observed, holidays must also be possible again, including in Europe,” write representatives of tourism, tour operators, hospitality and air transport in a joint article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. First, countries with successful safeguards in bilateral negotiations should lift each other’s travel restrictions. Opening up within the EU as a whole would then be the next step.
Even for top hotels aimed at international guests, only the relaxation of travel restrictions would make a difference, said Sacher CEO Matthias Winkler. “The Germans are our most important target group.” Luxury hotels would take years to recover from the Corona shock. “We are gearing up for three to four years until we reach the figures from the pre-Corona era,” said the boss of the traditional Sacher hotel in Vienna and Salzburg, among others. At the moment, the outlook is very bleak.
It is still unclear whether you can go to the holiday areas of Europe in the summer. The Federal Government’s tourism commissioner, Thomas Bareiß, said on Monday that he believed that “a holiday will be possible more regionally this year.” In summer, however, it could be “easily possible” to open holiday apartments and houses for rent.
The German Holiday Home Association then called for a concept to provide planning security for holidaymakers and landlords. Head of the office Michelle Sulphur also warned of far-reaching consequences for the industry if travel restrictions persist edits longer. “If the summer season fails, many providers will stop renting. Then there will be no holiday as we know it.”
The business of holidaying on the farm is also hitting the Corona crisis massively. At the moment, 140,000 guest beds are empty on holiday farms, according to data from the Federal Association for Farm Holidays and Rural Tourism. Losses could also not be made up, the industry representative explained. Rural tourism is a seasonal business in which money for winter has to be earned from Easter to the autumn holidays.
According to a nationwide survey of 860 companies for the period from mid-March to mid-April, 63,000 guests were unable to arrive. Sales losses of EUR 8.7 million were reported. Extrapolated to a total of 9910 holiday homes in Germany, this corresponds to a loss of around 99.6 million euros.