SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels were extremely hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic last year, with sales dropping 34%, the biggest downturn ever recorded in the sector, national statistics agency CBS said on Monday.
Hotels were hammered, with revenue down 51% as tourism and business travel dried up. Cafe and bar sales fell by 42% while restaurants and catering company turnover fell 35%.
Even fast-food restaurants were hit, with sales down 14%. Cafes, bars and restaurants were closed from March to June and shut down again in October. They are now open for takeaway and delivery services only.
Postal company PostNL, by contrast, has benefited from coronavirus, with turnover up 14.5% at €3.3bn and net profit reaching €245m. Chief executive Herna Verhagen described 2020 as an ‘extraordinary year with unprecedented circumstances.’
As shops closed and online shopping took off, PostNL delivered 337 million parcels last year – with a record of 1.7 million on some days. But the company also delivered more greeting cards and other mail as people sought different channels to keep in touch, Verhagen said.