Extremely high accommodation prices at Lake Balaton were reported by 24.hu. However, the current price increase is not necessarily surprising, as due to the coronavirus, most Hungarians prefer to spend the summer at Lake Balaton than to travel abroad.
The site mentions several cases of price hikes. For instance, a returning guest last year paid HUF 250-270,000 for an accommodation in Balatonszéplak for two weeks- now the owner has asked for HUF 700,000 for the same accommodation. Another same case happened when someone wanted to rent an apartment for two weeks at Lake Balaton. Last year, he paid HUF 350,000, now it would have cost HUF one million.
There are several reasons for the significant increase in prices. On the one hand, this year, due to the epidemic situation, the government is communicating “more Lake Balaton, less Adriatic Sea,” emphasizing that spending the summer holiday in the country is less risky than traveling abroad. This resonates with many people’s feelings, so many have decided to visit the Balaton instead of some popular tourist destinations at the Croatian seaside.
On the other hand, the government wants to strengthen domestic tourism with the extra money that can be spent with the SZÉP-card. Accommodations welcome this ‘extra money,’ as those who travel with the card are less price sensitive than those who pay for the accommodation with their own money. Thus, SZÉP-cards might have a kind of price-increasing effect, 24.hu writes.
Furthermore, the Tourism Development Contribution (TFH) has been introduced, which has not yet been paid this year, but has already been priced in somehow by accommodations, the President of the National Association of Private Landlords, László Mörk told 24.hu.
Nevertheless, due to the epidemic situation, the hosts repeatedly miss 1-2 days between two guests, to disinfect the rooms. During the time there is no income the expenditure slightly increase.
Featured photo illustration by Balázs Mohai/MTI