Still, even in the best-case scenario, it will take at least 10 months for the industry to reach pre-epidemic levels, Guller said.
In the current situation, the fundamental goal is to be ready for tourists and be competitive once tourism restarts.
At the onset of COVID-19, the Hungarian Government immediately recognized the gravity of the situation and was among the first to announce an action plan to help tourism and hospitality, which was exemplary at the European level as well, Guller emphasized.
Successful economic protection measures included a credit moratorium, tax rebates, loan programs, wage subsidies, and reduced taxation on the nationwide leisure card (SZÉP, provided by employers for accommodations and meals).
In the second wave of the epidemic, the government once again took immediate action to help the sector, with the primary goal of saving jobs and keeping businesses alive, he explained.
The CEO stressed that from the first of January until the end of the emergency, there is still no need to pay the tourism development contribution and tourist tax.
Last year, Guller said, tens of thousands of successful applications helped tens of thousands of businesses and families with tens of billions of forints; meanwhile, the development of accommodation establishments, restaurants and tourism infrastructure continues to take place throughout the country.
The government’s support for tourism has now hit HUF 800 billion, which is more than EUR 2 billion. This is also outstanding compared to other European countries, he said.