The number of guest nights in commercial accommodation establishments in Hungary rose 446% to 951,000 in January, though from a low base influenced by travel restrictions due to the pandemic, the Central Statistical Office of Hungary (KSH) reported last week. However, rising prices, uncertainty caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war and the coronavirus do not yet give cause for optimism for Hungarian tourism.
The number of overnight stays by domestic travelers increased by 338% to 504,000 and the number of overnight stays by foreign visitors increased by 656% to 447,000. 80% of the nights were spent in hotels.
The most popular tourist region was Budapest-Middle Danube, which registered slightly more than one-fifth of domestic overnight stays. The number of foreign guests was 170 thousand, who spent a total of 447 thousand nights in the country.
KSH pointed out that the number of guest nights was still 38% lower than in the same month of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts also draw attention to the fact that in February, accommodation providers were optimistic and they expected tourism to recover after the effects of the coronavirus outbreak at the beginning of the year slowly subsided. In fact, hotel prices began to increase dramatically due to rising energy, labor and food prices.
In March, however, the Russian-Ukrainian war led more and more foreigners to cancel their vacations in Hungary, as many believe the Central and Eastern European region is too close to the conflict. Meanwhile, while the coronavirus epidemic does not seem to be going away, there are no serious restrictions outside of China for the time being. So overall, the prospects for domestic tourism are not very bright, but one can hope that the Russian-Ukrainian war will end soon, and domestic tourism will be strong again next summer, as it was last year.