The estimated losses in Romania's hospitality industry this year will approach one billion euros, Calin Ile, chairman of the Federation of the Romanian Hospitality Industry (FIHR) told a news conference on Monday.
"In the local hospitality industry, in March and April, about 6 million overnight stays were lost, which is the equivalent of about 240-million-euro losses. Our estimates for this year are losses of 60-65% over the last year. As we know that last year the turnover was 1.4 billion euros, we realise that this year the losses will exceed 900 million euros, so in the hospitality industry they will approach one billion euros," Ile explained.
He said that moving forward he wants the government to come up, in addition to the measures dedicated to the workforce and the infusion of capital, with measures to stimulate tourist movement that inspire confidence.
"What are we expecting from the government moving forward? Apart from the fact that during this period we have worked a lot on these regulations, on the measures to support the workforce and on measures of capital infusion that we waited for to see them real and to benefit from those grants and loans, we are waiting for measures to stimulate tourist movement that will inspire confidence, a communication campaign such as 'Tourist in my country', or 'Come and visit a safe Romania'. We have to conduct such campaigns and boost demand and getting people out of this hibernation," said Ile.
He added that, unfortunately, SME Invest does not explicitly solve the problem in the HORECA industry, because many in this industry are unbankable.
In his turn, Dragos Anastasiu, chairman of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK), specified that the most important measure they requested for this industry is the one related to the "Kurzarbeit" model, which has been operating for over 100 years in Germany.
"A measure that we have called for from the beginning and that exists in Germany for such moments of crisis is a combination of furloughing and work, because we will not be able to recover quickly, we do not expect people to come rushing back to work, and work will not return to one hundred percent from the first second. At such times we need extraordinarily flexible measures, and as demand increases we can provide more work to employees. In Germany, that has been the case for 100 years. It's called Kurzarbeit, which means short work, and it's something we've always asked the authorities to do. We believe that flexible measures at such times are more appropriate than rigid measures," Anastasiu said.
According to him, a public wage subsidy of 41.5% for those returning from furloughing, it is a problem for travel agencies, because many of their employees were not furloughed, because they had a lot of work.
"It is a welcome measure, but we would like a flexible measure to move with the work, month by month. And to us it would be much better. Of the measures we want implemented, this Kurzarbeit is in first place," said Anastasiu.
The APT Alliance for Tourism , an organisation that includes 18 Romanian tourism employers' and professional organisations held a news conference on Monday that focused on how the last months were for the hospitality; forecasts for the second half of 2020; opinions on the Health Safety Protocol; opinions on active measures to support the industry; thoughts for the future: