How COVID-19 Changed Business and Consumption in Budapest ?

COVID-19 and business in Budapest

By Priszjazsnyuk Borisz

2020 is probably the most interesting and mysterious year since we know the modern industrialized world. The main reason for that is COVID-19, which at this point killed over a million people and spread all over the world. The virus is not only a threat to our health but also jobs, economy, businesses, and day to day life. It suddenly changed our behavior in everyday life, and influenced our decisions, especially on how we consume products, whether the way we purchase those goods or changed our preferences.

It impacted many industries, most importantly food. To be able to avoid exposure to the virus we try to minimize the time we go out. This behavior gave a boost to companies like Netpincér, Wolt, and Bolt food. These are services that bring us food from any restaurant we desire. Meanwhile, many restaurants are going out of business, others manage to stay afloat by contracting food delivery services. It is also cheaper than keeping a courier.

It is also possible to order products from supermarkets, such as Tesco or G-Robi to reduce the trips to the supermarket. Since it is not only the shop, where exposure is high. However, depending on the location. Also on our way there whether by walk or public transportation.

Another factor that damaged many local businesses is the lack of tourism. Tourism is a massive global industry that that was swiped away by the virus. Although airline companies are offering cheap tickets to certain countries, or within short distances, most of the flights have been suspended. This not only damaged the airlines but in Budapest specifically the restaurant and bar businesses.

The demand for such services has significantly decreased and now relies on local consumers. They are still opened but have to follow sanitary regulations as well as setting the tables at a certain distance from each other. The other massive industry that suffered as a result of the lack of tourism is the hotel services. Many hotels such as Novotel, Four Seasons had to close down due to lack of occupancy. It was not worth sustaining it, since the revenues dropped significantly.

This situation encouraged local tourism. Hungarians decided to live with the opportunities of traveling locally. This comes to aid the hotels outside of Budapest as well as Airbnb owners in the country side.

No doubt the virus took a lot of jobs or shortened many. It also raised the prices of products and services. As a result of this, we have to be more considerate of our financial choices. It could serve as a wake-up call to consumerism to stop buying bad quality and cheap products rather than focus on buying less but something that would last longer. We rather focus on essential products and services, such as food, rent, bills, and basic clothing due to additional income, that otherwise would be spent on unnecessary goods.

In the end, all bad things came with pros from which we can learn. Learn to watch out for each other as a society and appreciate more the local opportunities that our country offers. As well as to reflect on our spending habits on the things we don’t need. Only time will show if we will all have different approaches to life when the pandemic is over or we will fall back and forget it fast that it even happened.

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