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COVID mistakes can't be repeated this winter, says German hotel industry

COVID mistakes can't be repeated this winter, says German hotel industry
COVID mistakes can't be repeated this winter, says German hotel industry Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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BERLIN - German hotels are still limping towards recovery after the pandemic, and lawmakers need to prepare now to be ready for the coming winter, said the head of the DEHOGA hospitality body.

Despite pent-up demand, the industry is facing a possible third year of losses in 2022, with 57% of businesses reporting lower sales last month compared with pre-crisis May 2019, said DEHOGA president Guido Zoellick at a news conference on Tuesday.

"The mistakes of the past cannot be repeated," he said, calling for the state and federal governments to issue clear rules and a unified course on COVID-19 policy for the winter.

Zoellick said a major hurdle to recovery continues to be a lack of workers, with 60% of businesses affected, and called for labour immigration rules for non-EU countries to be simplified.

"It's very bitter when businesses are unable to meet urgent demand due to a staff shortage," the DEHOGA president said.

There were roughly 1 million full-time workers in the industry recorded in March 2022, he said. That is 63,700 fewer than the in same month in 2019 but 61,000 more than in March 2021.

"This is encouraging and shows quite a few employees are returning and new employees are also being recruited," he said.

Ensuring affordable energy supply amid the war in Ukraine and extending the reduction on value-added tax for hotel food are also essential for the industry to thrive, said Zoellick.

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