2012 was a good year for the Hungarian tourism: there were 8,5% more international tourists compared with the previous year. In pure numbers, it means 21,5 million guests, out of which 569,592 were originally from Germany. The majority of tourists were from Russia, followed by the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, UK, Czech Republic, Romania and USA.
The most sought destinations were the capital city Budapest and Balaton area.
The German interest for Hungary is more than on tourist nature: more than 70,000 holiday houses and in the German media there were reports about German retired old people living in various accommodations in Hungary. It is cheaper and the medical services are relatively good.
The German tourists can fly to Hungary from Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, with various possibilities of transfers and charters.
Besides the famous two destinations, the North of Hungary starts to be of interest for the foreign tourists, especially due to the rich gastronomy and the interesting wines.
The attraction of wellness and health tourism
A significant increase – 30% – was represented by the sector of wellness and spa-hotels. The health tourism is getting more and more exposure in Central Europe and together with Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Czech Republic, Hungary will be the host of a conference dedicated to this trend, scheduled at the beginning of October.
According to the official data, the majority of health tourists are coming from German-speaking countries: Germany, Austria and Swiss. The rest is from Russia, but also from countries that could be considered competitors, such as Israel and Italy.
In the last period, Hungary invested more than 500 million Euro in the wellness tourism. The country is not only blessed with over 1,000 natural springs, but also good professionals, especially neurologists, dermatologists, cardiology specialists and therapists.
The main attractions of the coming months
When it comes to Budapest, it is not easy to make a decision about what you don’t want to see. There are more and more temptations and since I’ve been there the list time, the list of opportunities went bigger.
In the last years, many international movies were filmed in Budapest – Evita, Spy Game or Red Heat, among them – increasing the relevance of the city brand.
The most appreciated attractions are:
– The Jugendstil palaces and villas
– Memento Park – gathering old statues from the time of communism
– Palace of Art, officially opened in 2005 where the most important cultural happenings take place
– The concerts hosted by the Music Academy Franz Liszt
– The creative Design sector whose works can be admired at Elisabethen Platz, close to the Deak metro station – once I lived close to it, if I remember correctly
– The bar and restaurants offering the finest gastronomy
Outside Budapest, an interesting option is to visit the Zsolnay Quarters, in Pecs, a beautiful multicultural city. For those interested about nature, Aggteleki Nationalpark is an interesting choice, very close to the border with Slovakia. To the same category belongs Futura, where the visitors are invited to experiment various natural phenomenon in a very interactive way. Situated at 230 km. North of Budapest is Robin Adventure Island, where you can get enough adrenaline for the rest of the year.
In the next months, a couple of interesting events held in Hungary will most likely attract more tourists:
– Budapest Springfestival, 22 March – 7 April, classical and jazz music
– Car competitions on the Hungaroring, 28 April – 1 May
– Etyeker Princefestival, 25-26 May, gastronomie and wine tasting
– Balaton Bike Festival, 13-16 June
– Volt Festival, 3-7 July An Open Air Music Festival
– Balaton Sound, 11-14 July
– Sziget Festival, 5-12 August – one day I should write more about my own experiences at this festival
– Wine festival at Hajduszoboszlo, 13-15 September
– Wine festivals in Mor, Tokaj and Villany, beginning October