Big price increase expected this summer in Hungarian baths and beaches!

Over the past few years, the restaurant and tourism industry has suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the negative effects of the ongoing war in the neighboring country of Hungary.

Vilaggazdasag writes that while customer interest and attendance at Budapest’s historic baths is quite high, they still cannot make as much profit as before the pandemic, due to increased maintenance and operating costs , but they can’t raise off-season ticket prices.

The outlet reported that ticket prices at Hungarian baths and beaches could be significantly increased in July, but many establishments plan to offer special seasonal tickets to their domestic customers to ensure their visitor numbers don’t dwindle. not considerably.

According to Vilaggazdasag, the sudden increase in energy prices affects almost every facet of daily life, which, combined with higher employment costs, means a significant increase in operating costs. However, Budapest Spas Plca corporation that collectively owns all the baths and thermal water in Budapest, cannot raise prices because it is owned by the local government.

These baths are currently offering their services at last year’s prices, which creates a total budget deficit of 750 million forints (1.97 million euros) for the company, reports Vg.

Ildikó Szűts, CEO of Budapest Spas Plc, said Telex that electricity prices have increased by 235% and that gas prices have increased by 273% since last year. In addition, spas had to increase salaries by at least 16.7%, but in professions where employees are rare, this increase was 20%.

Vilaggazdasag also added that there is a 40% labor shortage in the tourism sector due to the fact that many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic do not want to return to the tourism industry. catering and services. As a result, companies have to spend more on their existing employees, as it is quite difficult to replace them.

Despite the current difficulties, it seems that the tourism sector in Hungary could recover, because Telex reported that in the first quarter of 2022, attendance at the baths in Budapest increased and their income increased from 2.025 billion forints (5.33 million euros) to 2.724 billion forints (7.2 million euros) .

This growth is due to the fact that 836,000 people visited their spas and baths, more than 300,000 more than expected.

However, due to the war between Ukraine and Russia, several baths lost many of their customers. 64% fewer Russian tourists and 42% fewer Ukrainian tourists bought tickets to historical baths. It is not known how long this effect will persist.

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Laura T. Thrasher