Sep 09, 2016

Hungarians prefer Lake Balaton to holidaying abroad

Domestic tourism increased both in the first half of 2016 and during the peak tourist season

Hungarians and expats situated in Hungary are choosing to spend their holidays on home soil, at the likes of resorts in Lake Balaton and other locations, according to reports.

Domestic tourism continued to increase both in the first half of 2016 and during the peak tourist season, Magyar Hírlap said.

Domestic demand in Hungary grew by twice as much as the international tourism, general secretary of the association of Hungarian restaurants and hotels István Kovács told the newspaper.

Hotel revenues grew by 6.7 percent in the first six months, including an 8.5 percent increase in domestic guest nights and a 3.4 percent increase in foreign guest nights.

Lower household debt, higher wages and the popularity of the “Szép card” holiday vouchers played a significant role in the trend, Kovács said.

The drop in international tourism was in part triggered by fear of terrorism. Tunisia and Egypt used to be popular Hungarian tourism destinations but the number of charter flights to them dropped significantly.

At the same time, spas in western Hungary have become increasingly popular among Slovak and Czech tourists in addition to Hungarians, Russians and Ukrainians, reports MTI today.

Márta Kóródi, head of the tourism department at the Pallas Athéné University, said the number of domestic holidays comprising seven or eight guest nights steadily increased. Thanks to hotel developments in recent years, Hungary now offers sufficient accommodation options to provide an alternative to foreign holidays, she added.