ECONOMY

Tourism sector still worse off

Hospitality and food service have suffered losses of over 1.6 bln euros despite state support

tourism-sector-still-worse-off

The tourism accommodation and food service sector is continuing to suffer losses in spite of the considerable recovery it staged this year compared to 2020.

Although both domains of the sector received significant support from the state, amounting to some 6.5 billion euros for hospitality and €2.3 billion for food service, the reduction in their turnover over 2020 and the first nine months of 2021 has been greater.

According to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data, accommodation had a turnover of €4.3 billion in January-September 2021, which was much higher than the €1.94 billion earned in 2020. Despite the increase, the figures still lag those of 2019, when the first nine months had shown a turnover of €6.28 billion.

ELSTAT figures confirm that the domain’s losses throughout 2020 amounted to €4.76 billion, plus another €1.98 billion this year through end-September. Therefore the domain’s losses add up to €6.74 billion, meaning the hospitality sector is now approximately €240 million worse off.

The losses have been even greater for the food service sector: In the first nine months of this year it posted a turnover of €3.81 billion, up from €3.3 billion in the same period in 2020 but down from €5.06 billion in 2019. Consequently the overall losses of the domain from January 2020 to September 2021 add up to €3.67 billion; so after the state support of €2.3 billion there still is a revenue gap of €1.37 billion.

In total, the hospitality and food service sector finds itself over €1.6 billion worse off despite the nearly €8.8 billion in state support it has received since the outbreak of the pandemic. Provisional data indicate the picture won’t change after processing the October data.

On the other hand, the state has spent a very respectable amount of funds and managed to cover the sector’s losses for the first year-and-a-half by about 82% – a rate that is far from negligible in an unprecedented effort to keep the industry alive amid the unforeseeable circumstances of the coronavirus crisis.