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  • Stephan Busch

Hospitality can’t get out of the Covid debacle as long as there are restrictions

The restrictions imposed by the government due to the corona virus have severely damaged the catering and hotel industries. In some countries all measures have been completely abolished, in others they are partially maintained or even tightened.

In addition, there is the added complication that many employees do not want to return to a job that offers poor pay, poor working hours and, as experienced with the lockdowns, no security. Everybody can understand this.

It was not easy to make a profit before and with additional costs (hygiene, test check and much more) it does not get any better.

As long as restrictions remain in place, the catering and hotel industries will not recover. As now introduced in Hamburg only vaccinated and recovered are allowed in restaurants and events - tested people - the healthy ones, are not welcome. Supported by many restaurateurs because they earn at least some money it is very short-term thinking and will only cause more damage in the long term.

The event industry will also hardly be able to recover with these restrictions. Only the removal of all restrictions will lead to recovery in all areas of tourism.

This omission of all measures was promised from an inzidence of 100 (number of positive test on 100000), then from 35 and then even at an inzidence of 7, the promise was again and again broken.

The illusion that all people in the world are vaccinated at some point will remain an illusion and the damage should the measures not be removed will only increase.

Many people cannot be vaccinated and people who decide against vaccination should not be excluded. We were once a very tolerant industry that fought against all forms of discrimination and exclusion and we lived it. Unfortunately, today I see many colleagues who sometimes fanatically cry out for discrimination.

If you look at countries like Israel where almost all people are vaccinated and still the next wave rolls in, many people will not be able to participate in normal tourism. A market like Russia, which is financially strong and therefore invested a lot of money in the hotel and catering industry, will also disappear as only 20% of the population had themselves vaccinated. Other countries are at 60% or 50% which still restricts tourism up to 50%.

It won't work that way.

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in the hospitality industry ranging from senior management positions with the most renowned hotel and resort companies to the project development - launch of operations, business development- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.

His expertise includes not only planning, opening and operating of hotels, international golf clubs, airports, resorts and cruise ships, but also successful restructuring and repositioning of businesses during the financial crisis in Asia.

Stephan Busch earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA and served many years as Academic Director / Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism at the State University for Humanities RGGU Moscow as well as the Swiss International University St. Petersburg.

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