Here’s how Hungary’s the ’Spice of Europe’ will shake up Europe’s tourism

If you haven’t been to Budapest lately, you should do yourself a favor and visit. One of Europe’s great capitals is going to get even better in the coming years, and this week, Hungary embarks on its first-ever tourist campaign to promote Budapest as one of Europe’s best destinations.

Over the next four years, said Zoltán Guller, CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency (HTA), Budapest’s tourism ranks as one of the most important priorities for the government and the municipality.

Building on what has been steadily rising tourism in Budapest over the last several years, the promotional effort is establishing a brand for the capital city that will serve as a basis for upcoming international campaigns. Guller said the campaign’s main goal is to attract high profile visitors interested in quality experiences. The slogan – “Budapest, the Spice of Europe” – expresses the best of Budapest’s character – historical heritage, cultural life, premier quality gastronomy, flourishing fashion and more – that would propel the city to become one of the top destinations in Europe, joining the ranks of London and Paris.

There’s no Hungarian tourism without Budapest, Deputy Mayor Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky has said, and this is why the municipality and the central government have joined forces in making Budapest an even more attractive destination for both foreigners and Hungarians. She pointed out that since 2010, the number of annual visitors has risen by a record-breaking 50 percent. Budapest boasts only 35 percent of Hungary’s accommodation capacity – some 20,000 rooms – and hosts 70 percent of foreigner guest nights.

Most of the campaign budget will be spent on advertising, with a major portion going to CNN, HTA’s main global media partner, to reach more than 205,000,000 households worldwide. Other significant budgetary entries include advertising cooperation with international airlines, lifestyle and tourism magazines, social media and Google. The ads will appear in Hungary’s most relevant tourist markets including the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Canada, Ireland and Switzerland. 

The “Spice of Europe” campaign marks the first steps in rebranding Budapest as a top European tourist destination. More international campaigns will follow: one in the autumn about Budapest’s vibrant culture and another featuring Budapest in the winter time, Guller said.