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Hungary’s Tourism Thrives: Brace for an Incredible Summer with 15% Surge in Foreign Visitors


Hungary’s tourism sector is expecting a boost from foreign visitors, according to the CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, Péter Horváth.

Despite a decline in domestic travellers as more Hungarians choose to take trips abroad, the tourism industry has seen positive growth in terms of guest nights.

As reported by About Hungary, guest nights increased by four per cent to reach 12.2 million from January to May 2023.

At the same time, Horváth revealed that there had been a significant increase in foreign visitors to Hungary. The number of Italian visitors nearly doubled from the beginning of the year until the end of May, while visitors from Israel and Poland increased by almost 50 per cent. Visitors from Germany also saw a one-third increase.

However, while international tourism is flourishing, domestic travel within Hungary has declined. In this regard, Horváth mentioned that the number of guest nights spent by domestic travellers fell by six per cent to six million as more Hungarians opted to book trips abroad.

Moreover, he also forecasts a 10-15 per cent increase in turnover from foreign visitors, both in the capital and the country, throughout this year. This growth is expected to increase the numbers to 90-95 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels.

According to Horváth, the tourism industry plays a vital role in Hungary’s economy, contributing close to 13 per cent of the country’s GDP and accounting for a significant part of its foreign exchange. Therefore, the positive outlook for foreign tourism indicates potential economic benefits for this country.

Previously, Horváth noted that last year, over 14.2 million visitors spent nearly 40 million visitor nights in the country, nearing the figures from 2019.

The same also highlighted that the current year had started promisingly, with a 15 per cent increase in guest nights in January compared to the same month in the previous year. Furthermore, bookings for February of this year indicated a ten per cent increase compared to the figures from February 2022.

The CEO also mentioned that guest nights are expected to reach a total of 6.3 million in the first quarter of this year, reflecting an increase from the 5.9 million guest nights registered during 2022.

The head of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, the agency has formulated a strategy for the period of 2023-2030 to position Hungary as a leading destination in Central Europe. The plan aims to attract a total of 20 million travellers, which would result in a significant increase in guest nights to 50 million.

The overarching objective of this strategy is to enhance the tourism and catering industry’s contribution to Hungary’s GDP. The aim is to raise the sector’s contribution from 12 per cent to a higher figure of 16 per cent.

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