Dutch hospitality industry wants compensation for closing smoking areas

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The branch organization for the Dutch hospitality sector KHN is considering submitting a compensation claim on behalf of restaurants and bars if the government decides to close all smoking areas within two years. The organization calls for a longer transition period, a spokesperson for KHN confirmed to NU.nl.

If the government extends the period in which all smoking areas must be closed from two years to five years, business owners will have more time to recoup investments they made in smoking rooms, KHN argues. According to research by the organization, each entrepreneur invested an average of 12,500 euros in smoking areas equipped with extraction equipment. In the entire sector, that amounts to between 70 million and 90 million euros. 

According to the spokesperson, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health, Welfare and Sports already promised to meet with the KHN. If this consultation fails, the organization will consider further steps. "There is still no definitive decision about whether hospitality entrepreneurs will claim themselves or whether it will be a mass claim", the spokesperson said to NU.nl. That decision will only be made if talks fail.