Budapest, Nov 2 (IANS) Europe’s energy crisis is coming directly to Hungary’s biggest hotel: the 499-room Danubius Hotel Hungaria City Centre, will be closed for four months starting Tuesday.
According to a statement on its website, the hotel in central Budapest will reopen on February 28, Xinhua news agency reported.
Some hotels of the Danubius chain, however, will remain open, hotel managers said in a letter to the Xinhua news agency.
The main reason behind the temporary closure is the difficulty of running such a large hotel efficiently during the winter in a tough economic environment, the hotel said.
The hotel informed its guests of the closure and evacuated its staff.
The hotel is facing high service costs since August 1 when the government issued an amendment to the relevant law, asking businesses to pay the market price of gas and electricity.
Although the Hungarian government has set household electricity prices up to the “national consumption average,” those who consume more than this average amount – including businesses – must pay market prices that are twice as expensive for electricity and seven times more expensive. of gas.
In addition to the Danubius Hotel Hungaria, many other businesses are facing closure. According to Hungarian local media, many small businesses, including bakeries, butchers, and small theaters, are closing, or planning to close.
“Kiado/Elado”, meaning “to let/for sale”, are some of the most common billboards seen along the streets of any Hungarian city these days.
Tamas Flesch, the honorary President of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Hungary, gave a sad picture of the situation in a recent interview on Inforadio.
“Hotels with high gas and electricity usage will have to be closed because of their incredible bills.”
Flesch said the monthly energy bill for the 150-room hotel has ranged from 10-12 million Hungarian forints ($24,128-$28,953) to 100 million forints.
“Working with the National Hospitality Employers’ Association, we are trying to get government support for hotels,” he added.
Hotels that will remain open will certainly raise prices significantly, he said.
While hotels and restaurants are waiting for a government grant, up to half of spas in Hungary will be forced to close in the first six months of next year due to rising energy prices and a sharp drop in the number of visitors, said Zoltan Kantas. , President of the Hungarian Spa Association.
Hotels, restaurants and hot spas are the backbone of Hungary’s tourism industry which plays a major role in the country’s economy. (1 forint = 0.0024 US dollar)