Kamenz (dpa/sn) - The corona pandemic has left clear traces in the Saxon tourism industry. According to calculations by the State Statistical Office, there were still around 61,700 employees with compulsory social security contributions in mid-2021. Based on the same point in time last year, that was 3.4 percent less, the authority announced on Tuesday in Kamenz. In the overall economy, on the other hand, the number rose by 0.9 percent.
From the point of view of the responsible minister, Barbara Klepsch (CDU), Saxony's tourism can "only now really" recover from the restrictions caused by the corona pandemic. In view of people's great desire to travel, she is confident "that it will now pick up speed again," she said, according to a statement from her ministry, which is helping to recruit staff for the catering, hotel and tourism industries, as well as companies and providers with 5.6, among other things Millions of euros from the Restart Tourism program.
The year before, the number of employees in the tourism industry had fallen by 2.5 percent, while in the economy as a whole it was only 0.5 percent less. The reference date for the calculation is always June 30 of each year. The State Statistical Office pointed to the operating restrictions and bans for large parts of the hotel and catering industry as a result of the pandemic as the reason for the renewed decline.
In the accommodation industry, the number of employees in the middle of 2021 compared to 2020 fell by 7.2 percent to 12,500 people, it said. The decline in gastronomy was less pronounced - by 3.0 percent to 12,700 employees. The traffic and transportation, travel agencies and tour operators, culture, sports and recreation and retail sectors are also included proportionately in the employment statistics.
According to ministry information, overnight stays in the Free State fell by 37 percent in both 2020 and 2021 compared to the year before the crisis, 2019, and the number of visitors fell by 47 percent each. The estimated loss of sales in the industry was around 40 percent - in real terms around 7 billion euros.