Historic drop in turnover accommodation and food services

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© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
In Q4 2020, turnover in the accommodation and food services sector fell by nearly 44 percent relative to the previous quarter, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). This was mainly due to the tightening of the measures against the spread of coronavirus. In Q3, the sector still experienced a strong recovery as measures were relaxed. With Q4, the annual figure for 2020 has also become available: last year, the accommodation and food services sector contracted by 33.9 percent relative to 2019. This contraction is unprecedented. Accommodation and food services is among the sectors worst affected by the coronavirus crisis.

In mid-March, the accommodation and food services sector - including hotels, cafés and restaurants - had to close its doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Takeaway and delivery of food and drinks were still permitted. As a result of the COVID-19 measures, turnover decreased by 14 percent compared to the previous quarter in Q1 2020, the first drop in seven years’ time. Turnover fell further in Q2, by just over 50 percent. On 1 June 2020, the measures were eased slightly. As a result, turnover rebounded strongly in Q3 2020 (by more than 100 percent) and was almost at the same level as in Q1. In Q4, however, the measures against the spread of coronavirus were tightened again and turnover fell by almost 44 percent relative to Q3.

Turnover accommodation and food services (seasonally adjusted)
YearQuarterTurnover (2015=100)
2014Quarter 193.6
2014Quarter 293.8
2014Quarter 394.5
2014Quarter 495.9
2015Quarter 197.1
2015Quarter 299.5
2015Quarter 3100.3
2015Quarter 4102.8
2016Quarter 1103.6
2016Quarter 2104.2
2016Quarter 3108.2
2016Quarter 4108.3
2017Quarter 1110.5
2017Quarter 2112.6
2017Quarter 3113.9
2017Quarter 4115.5
2018Quarter 1117.8
2018Quarter 2120.8
2018Quarter 3121.1
2018Quarter 4123.5
2019Quarter 1122.6
2019Quarter 2125
2019Quarter 3125.7
2019Quarter 4128.1
2020Quarter 1110.4
2020Quarter 253.9
2020Quarter 3109.7
2020Quarter 461.8

Café turnover fell most sharply in Q4

In Q4 2020, cafés suffered the greatest decline in turnover, namely by 70.4 percent on the previous quarter. Restaurants posted 56.7 percent less turnover and hotels 51.1 percent less. The decline in turnover compared to Q3 was less pronounced in other parts of the sector, albeit still significant. In Q4, other accommodation services such as holiday homes and camp sites recorded 23 percent turnover loss, fast-food restaurants 19.7 percent and canteens and catering 13.8 percent.

Turnover accommodation and food services (seasonally adjusted), Q4 2020
X-as labelchange (quarter-on-quarter % change)
Accommodation services (total)-40.7
Other accommodation services-23
Food and beverages services (total)-44.6
Fast-food restaurants-19.7
Canteens and catering-13.8

Unprecedented turnover decline in 2020

In 2020, the turnover decline in the accommodation and food services sector amounted to 33.9 percent year-on-year. This is the largest contraction ever recorded and no less than 7 times greater than in 2009, when the credit crisis led to a year-on-year turnover loss of 4.8 percent for the accommodation and food services sector.

Turnover accommodation and food services
Period (year-on-year % change)

Hotels suffered largest turnover loss in 2020

Hotels achieved 50.8 percent less turnover last year than in 2019. At 13.1 percent, the contraction among other accommodation services was considerably smaller. Total turnover in accommodation services in 2020 was 40.6 percent lower year-on-year.

Turnover in food and beverage services fell less substantially (by 31.2 percent) than in accommodation services. Fast-food restaurants were relatively least affected by the COVID-19 measures; their turnover was 13.5 percent lower than in 2019. Cafés and restaurants achieved 41.7 and 34.6 percent less turnover respectively. Finally, canteens and catering recorded 35.6 percent turnover loss.

Turnover accommodation and food services, 2020
X-aschange (year-on-year % change)
Accommodation services (total)-40.6
Other accommodation services-13.1
Food and beverages services (total)-31.2
Canteens and catering-35.6