Hotel and catering hit hard

Hotels, cafes and restaurants saw their combined turnover fall over 6% in the first quarter of 2009, compared with a year earlier.

The national statistics office CBS said it had never before registered such a sharp drop. Cafe and hotel income fell by some 9% while restaurant turnover was down almost 6%. Cafe prices rose 4.6% in compensation.
‘The hotel and catering trade notices it first if people are more reluctant to spend,’ said a spokesman for sector organisation Horeca Nederland. ‘And business trade is also down. There are fewer congresses and city hotels are booking less visitors.’
CBS economist Michiel Vergeer said the ban on smoking introduced last July had not had a great effect on cafe business. ‘Cafe turnover fell in the second quarter of last year as well, before the ban was introduced,’ he pointed out.

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