Significant change in the gastronomy offering in destinations

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The results of a current survey in 155 tourist resorts and regions in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and South Tyrol, carried out by Austria's largest tourism consulting company Kohl > Partner, give cause for concern: a decline in gastronomic holidays threatens to make it more difficult for holidaymakers and locals alike to find a place at the pub table . Spontaneous visits to inns will increasingly become a test of nerves in many places.

While demand is increasing due to the increase in holiday homes, apartments and chalets, fewer and fewer catering establishments are able to maintain the usual supply. Gernot Memmer, an expert in the development of destinations, warns of a drastic change in the holiday experience: “In many places it will no longer be possible without reservations. This leads to a decline in the quality of the holiday. Who wants to have to decide what time and where they want to eat before they start their vacation? A fight over the tavern table is annoying.”

Almost 90% have noticed a decline in catering offerings over the last 5 years. 80% each say that restaurants and inns are most affected. 35% also mention cafés and 25% bars and pubs.

Main reasons for the decline

The decline is primarily due to operational and non-demand-oriented aspects. From the perspective of the 155 destination managers surveyed, it is not a failure due to demand.

The top 5 reasons for the decline in catering offerings are:

  • Employee shortages and staff bottlenecks (94%)
  • No business succession (71%)
  • High rents and operating costs (47%)
  • Adjusted opening times and rest days (37%)
  • Bureaucratic requirements and restrictions (36%)

Impact on guest feedback

More than half of destination respondents (51%) note that guest feedback has worsened in relation to the reduced range of restaurants, inns, cafes and bars open.

The top 7 points of criticism from guests in the negative guest feedback are:

  • Very limited gastronomic offerings (especially in the off-season)
  • Shortened and unclear opening times
  • Limited choice
  • Overcrowded inns and restaurants, guests have difficulty finding a place (no spontaneous visits to restaurants possible, planning long in advance sometimes even before the holiday)
  • Reservations are necessary and spontaneous visits are increasingly difficult
  • Increased prices with a decrease in the quality of service and offerings
  • Lack of regional cuisine and traditional restaurants/taverns and inns, increase in snack bars

Impact on the destination

The survey results show that the decline in dining options not only affects holidaymakers, but also locals. This also has a negative impact on the quality of life.

Few implementation measures so far

Almost 80% of destinations have not yet taken any measures - often because it is not within the destination's immediate sphere of influence. “First, the signals in destinations must be taken seriously and measures must be taken quickly. Without cooperation within the destinations, support in reducing bureaucratic hurdles, attractive funding programs and innovative concepts, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a gastronomic offer. If the inn dies, the soul of the village dies in many places,” tourism expert Gernot Memmer is convinced.

Playa de Palma (Photo: Jan Gruber).
Playa de Palma (Photo: Jan Gruber).