Entertainment, hospitality hit hard as cancellations soar over Covid-19 measures

The hospitality and entertainment industries are hit hard by the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19, and the measures the Dutch government announced to fight the spread of the virus. The number of cancellations in the Netherlands increased by 48 percent and no new reservations are coming, hospitality association KHN said to BNR.

KHN spoke to 4 thousand entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, and they are loosing hundreds of millions of euros, KHN director Dirk Beljaarts said. "The sector is being hit very hard. The figures are really shocking. The entrepreneurs see an average 33 percent loss of turnover. This month, under the current circumstances, this will approach 700 million euros." KHN calls on the government to come up with an action plan to support entrepreneurs.

"These sectors were already in the corner where the hard knocks fell, and this is on top of that," ING sector economist Thijs Geijer said to NOS. "Event organizations often only have one or two moment in the year when the money is being made. And if that doesn't happen, you will soon be in trouble."

The hospitality and entertainment sectors were already struggling in Amsterdam, Noord-Brabant and Rotterdam. Now that the government decided to ban events with more than 100 people, the impact will spread throughout the Netherlands, KHN expects. 

Because this does not only affect concerts and sports events.  "You have to think of fairs, meetings, parties, but also weddings: you quickly fall into this category that is now prohibited," KHN director Beljaarts said to NOS. He called the new measures understandable, but  "a financial loss for the sector throughout the Netherlands". "This is really a worst case scenario." 

"The impact on our business is enormous," Berend Schans of the association for Dutch music venues and festivals VNPF said to the broadcaster. "Stages spread their risks and program all year round: with one show you lose, with the other you have a positive result, that way you get through the year. If you lose a month, you have a serious problem." 

The government needs to come up with emergency solutions, such as an emergency fund, or pop stages will go bankrupt, Schans said. They could potentially lose between 15 and 20 million euros this year. "But that depends on an annual basis and depends entirely on how long things are idle," Schans said. "If a pop stage like the Melkweg or Pardiso have to close their doors for a week, they will already miss out on more than 10 thousand euros."