While the COVID-19 pandemic affected all real estate sectors throughout 2020, restrictive measures have been extremely hard on the tourism industry, including the hospitality segment. A recent OECD report estimates a global drop in international tourism of around 80% in 2020 compared to the previous year, with an uncertain outlook for 2021. Following an unprecedented year, in which hotels have been temporarily closed in the lockdown period and restricted mobility put an exceptional pressure on tourism, the Romanian hospitality industry is showing signs of recovery for the following period.
Given that in Romania the tourism industry has a relatively low contribution to the GDP (around 5% in 2010-2019 compared to the EU average of 9.9%), the economic impact of its sudden decline has been less obvious. However, the pressure has had a spill effect into a drop in the average net salaries for industries like hospitality and air transportation, which have registered a decrease in the average salary of 12.9% and 28.38% respectively. Additionally, despite efforts to retain their employees, the closing down of hotels and restaurants has led to a significant number of layoffs in the hospitality industry. According to INS data, over 200,000 people (3% of the total working population) were employed in the industry in 2018 and 2019. In 2020 the number of employees dropped to 150,000.
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