Our figure of the month 05/2020: COVID-19 – the regional importance of the hospitality industry

The effects of the coronavirus on the German economy as a whole are drastic.

In its spring projection for 2020, the Federal Ministry of Economics currently forecasts a decline in economic output of 6,3 % compared with the previous year.

The German government has issued guidelines to stop the spread of the virus. The catalogue of measures drawn up in the resolution of April the 15th 2020 hits the hospitality industry particularly hard. For example, catering establishments will remain closed to the public, with the only exception of the delivery and collection of takeaway food for consumption at home. In addition, there are conditions for hotels, where only business and expressly no tourism operations are permitted. Furthermore, the risk of spreading the corona virus must be minimised. This can be done, for example, by regulating the number of visitors and by regulating the distance between tables.

Not all regions are equally affected by the measures adopted for the hospitality industry due to the different locations of the industry's focal points.

Which regions are most affected by the measures due to their employment structure, and which regions have a rather low proportion of employees in the sector? This question is addressed in our current figure for the month.

According to the 2008 Classification of Economic Activities, the hospitality industry is made up of the economic sectors of accommodation (WZ 55) and catering (WZ 56). With around 1.1 million employees subject to social insurance contributions (SVB) and around 1.9 million gainfully employed persons (including self-employed persons, family helpers and marginally employed persons) throughout Germany, it is an important sector. This means that 3.2% of all SVBs nationwide and around 4.2% of all employees work in the hospitality industry. The sector is all the more important among the self-employed: around 7% of all businesses with at least one employee subject to social insurance contributions are in the catering trade.

The varying regional importance is reflected in the following figures: Looking at the share of SVBs employed in the hotel and restaurant industry in relation to all SVBs in the respective regional planning region (ROR), it can be seen that the ROR Siegen, with a share of around 1.9% of employees in the hospitality industry, has the lowest share of all RORs, whereas in the ROR Vorpommern, with around 9.6%, this share is the highest. The Figure gives an overview of the respective shares of SVBs employed in hotels and restaurants out of all SVBs in the respective spatial planning region (ROR). Overall, the sector is more important in the northern and north-eastern regions of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and in the southern regions of Oberland (7.6%) and Allgäu (6.8%). The hospitality industry plays an important role, especially for the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Here, the share of employees in this sector per region is between 4% and 9.6%.

With a high dependency on the hospitality industry, a region will always be more affected by the crisis than regions with a low share. With a potential decline in employment in the hospitality industry of 20%, employment in a region with a 10% share – with no change in employment in the other sectors of the economy – will fall by 2%, whereas in a region with a 2.5% share in hospitality industry it will only fall by 0.5%. 

Other figures can be found here.

Go back