Sure, history knows various cases of fevers and falls, but there the victim usually caused it himself. The Dutch tulip fever ended with the fall of this trade after the price of one flower exceeded the price of ten horse-drawn carriages. The financial crisis of 2008 led to the collapse of banks and their tough regulation in response to how bankers had started quite a bit before, especially in terms of their ability to correctly estimate risk.
The biggest victim of the coronary crisis is tourism. Until March, he did not expect that any problem could be solved by closing the borders and no forms of martial law. Shares of tourism companies are experiencing a free fall. Hotels are empty, flights and coach tours canceled, travel agencies, clubs and restaurants closed, conferences are not held and there is no need to talk about water parks and cruise ships.
Entrepreneurs report year-round declines in sales by 70 to 90 percent. This also applies to related industries, such as taxis and laundries. All this in a situation where companies are waiting for the usual five months of a weaker season. Moreover, these are not negligible numbers; last year, according to data from the Trade and Tourism Association, tourism earned a total of 300 billion crowns.
The spring’s first wave of the pandemic was a little fairer, with a number of industries drowning in the lockdown. The winners were only slow, mostly those who can do business more or less virtually. Now the people in the tourism industry feel quite understandably like a defeat.
Guides from spring without income
But what about that? Tourism has not been given time to adapt due to the specific situation. In a market environment, the maximum “neighboring” neighboring owners can subsidize closed or fading operations from other activities. Business unions therefore want help from the state – either to extend the original support measures or to introduce new ones.
Viliam Sivek from the Tourism Forum says: It is not possible to love tourism only when you carry it all.
There is something about it. Entrepreneurs in Prague are the worst affected, because the capital is, on the one hand, the biggest tourist attraction, and the strong summer season helped the second establishments outside Prague. Maybe the whole burden of possible help would not have to be borne by the state, but also by the rich capital, which lived well from tourism for years.
Prague is not very useful yet. At the end of September, the city was asked for help by guides who have been without income since the spring. But city officials pushed the problem back to the government.
Instead, the city management will deal with the so-called Inbound Tourism Concept of the Capital City of Prague in the coming weeks. It responds to “the problems of a long-overloaded center, which is difficult to cope with the negative effects of tourism.” Not only to entrepreneurs, it must sound like a very bad joke.
At the same time, the tourism sector really needs a longer-term plan. There will be no return to normal immediately. Oxford Economics estimates that European tourism may not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest. God willing.
The author is the editor-in-chief of the daily E15