The number of tourists from South Korea and China quadrupled compared to last year, while a third more American visitors came to Budapest in the first seven months of the year. Tourists from distant countries are more interested than average in sightseeing, gastronomy, spas, and culture, and several of them are visiting Hungary’s attractions in the countryside.
In the first seven months of the year, inbound tourism from the United States, South Korea, and China, that are among the largest international markets for inbound tourism, increased compared to last year, Világgazdaságreports, based on data from the Hungarian Tourism Agency.
The number of tourists from the United States of America increased by more than a third, while the number of tourists from the Asian countries almost quadrupled. These are also among the largest international markets, and in order to reach them more effectively, the Hungarian Tourism Agency regularly examines what the tourists from these three countries are looking for and how they travel.
All three countries show a strong interest, hence there is high tourism potential in these markets.
Among visitors from the United States, the proportion of over-45s is particularly high, accounting for almost half of the total number of visitors from the US. But there is also a growing share of younger couples, families, and incentive travelers.
The Fisherman’s Bastion is an extremely popular sight in Budapest. Photo via Facebook/Csodás Magyarország
From South Korea, the 25-44 age group accounted for 52 percent of visitors, and the same age group from China accounted for 63 percent of tourists. While among US and Chinese visitors, the proportion of men and women is balanced,
more than 60 percent of South Korean tourists are male.
Hotels proved to be the most popular choice for tourists from all three countries (65-70 percent), including four-star hotels, chosen by one in two travelers. In contrast, only a quarter of guests stayed in private and other accommodations.
Tourists from South Korea and the United States are among the visitors with a high propensity to spend,
Americans spend one and a half times more than the average, and South Korean travelers spend almost 10 percent more than the average.
Tourists from distant countries are more interested than average in sightseeing and culture. Those coming from the US are particularly interested in the built heritage, gastronomic specialties, and thermal baths, distinguishing Hungary from its competitors in terms of tourism, the Hungarian Tourism Agency summarized in its research.
Many visitors from South Korea come for business or even to work or study, and from China, millions can be attracted by a TV show.
A good example is the Chinese reality show Chinese Restaurant, filmed in Budapest between June and July this year. The first episode was watched by more than 160 million people in the first week of its launch.
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath. Photo via Facebook/Ernő Papp
In March, the popular American magazine, Time, included Budapest in its list called World’s Greatest Places 2023, a compilation highlighting 50 tourist destinations. The magazine also drew attention to Budapest’s many revamped attractions (the Opera House, parts of Buda Castle) and the new elegant hotels opened recently (W Budapest opened in July directly opposite the Opera House, the historic Klotild Palace is transformed into the St. Regis Hotel Budapest, and the Dorothea Hotel, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, will debut on Vörösmarty Square.)