Austria, with its high tourism share, must arm its economy better against the rise in interest rates than other countries.
Vienna (OTS) – From the frying pan into the fire, from the pandemic unchecked into a cost debacle driven by the turmoil of war is currently the name of the game for the economy. In the hotel industry – the sector hardest hit by the Covid lockdowns – this means massively rising costs on virtually all major cost items, be it wages and salaries, cost of goods – primarily food and beverages – capital expenditure and energy. In addition, there is now the rise in interest rates:
“Companies with high outstanding accounts are now confronted with a further increase in costs,” says Walter Veit, President of the Austrian Hoteliers’ Association, referring to the worsening situation.
Tourism regions must arm themselves
Austria, with its high proportion of tourism-related economic output, must arm itself for the challenges better than other countries, says Veit. After all, for companies that invest as much and as frequently as hotels, this is a special challenge: “Yes, we used to have significantly higher interest rates,” the industry spokesman admits, “but with a fraction of the debt of today, with a boom and steadily rising demand. We’re a long way from that today.” Tourism regions are threatened with economic reverse.
ÖHV president proposes whole bundle of measures
As a counter-reaction, Veit would like to see the deadline for the repayment of bridging loans stretched. The favorable ERP loans with a term of several years offered by the ÖHT are to be expanded as an effective instrument for maintaining the liquidity of regional leading companies. According to Veit, further measures such as the implementation of Gentiloni’s proposal to introduce notional equity interest and, above all, to shorten the depreciation period, as stated in the government program, would be welcomed not only by industry colleagues, but also by mayors in the tourism regions, commercial contractors and, of course, the banks: “Tourism is so broadly based and so deeply anchored in the regions that all these measures help the entire region,” Veit reminds us of the numerous jobs that tourism secures, maturities at banks and the fact that 80% of the hotel industry’s investments go to contractors within a 90 km radius.
A current policy letter on the subject of finances can be found [here] (https://bit.ly/3P4fujT), a printable picture of Walter Veit can be found [here for download] (https://bit.ly/3z51IYK), © ÖHV/Lechner
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