Not only the tour operators organizing trips abroad, but also the Szallas.hu portal, which offers domestic and foreign accommodation, closed a very successful summer pre-booking season. The data shows that despite the increased prices, Hungarians are not giving up either domestic or foreign holidays, according to a compilation by Világgazdaság.
After the ordeal of Covid-19, there are signs that Hungarian domestic tourism could recover and hotels could return to the numbers they had before the epidemic. Although experts have been cautious so far, the year has started with better than expected sales, so inflation and the rising cost of living have not dampened the spirits of travelers.
Lili Kelemen, spokeswoman of Szallas.hu, told Világgazdaság that on a pro-rata basis, 24 percent more bookings were made through the portal than last year. However, this does not mean that this much more people will travel, but that many have thought ahead and booked their domestic trips in advance. In fact, at the beginning of the year, guests were able to book at a discounted price on Szallas.hu, and another domestic promotion will be launched in May.
Lake Balaton. Photo: Pixabay
There are no changes among the favorite holiday destinations in Hungary, with the Balaton settlements and the classic bath towns and places with interesting programs still dominating. Siófok on the shores of Lake Balaton remains the most popular, but the top 10 also includes western spa town Hévíz, Budapest, spa town Zalakaros, Eger and Szeged. Eger is known for its wine region, while Szeged hosts open-air plays in summer, with a variety of theater performances.
But it is not just domestic trips that are popular with Hungarians, many families also choose neighboring Croatia for its nearby coastline.
The number of reservations received by Szallas.hu bookers up to 20 April showed an 81% increase year-on-year. Stays of 5-7 nights are the most typical, with a night costing an average of 12,000 forints (EUR 32) per person in Croatia in summer.
The most attractive destinations are Istria, the island of Krk and the Dalmatia-Split region, with Vir, Crikvenica and Njivice being the most popular towns, according to Szallas.hu. An added bonus from this year is that since Croatia joined the Schengen area on 1 January, motorists no longer have to wait hours for border controls at the Hungarian-Croatian border, which has been the case every summer.
Outbound holiday operators also closed a very good pre-booking period at the end of March, offering 10-30% discounts, price guarantees and favorable payment terms for summer trips. In addition to Croatia, Greece is a perennial hit, with charter flights offering package holidays in almost all variations, from self-catering to all-inclusive, Balázs Bakó, spokesman for the Association of Hungarian Travel Agencies, told Világgazdaság.
Zakynthos in Greece is popular among travelers from around the world. Photo: Pixabay
Despite the earthquake disaster, Turkey remains a favorite destination for Hungarians as well. The very good quality of the hotels and the abundant and high quality all-inclusive services offered contribute to the fact that Turkish trips are unbeatable value for money.
At the same time, Egypt is equally popular with Hungarians, and tourism in Tunisia is making a comeback, with the local government’s tourism office giving the sector a high profile. But many also like Cyprus, Italy and Spain.
Venice, Italy. Photo: Pixabay
Travel agents see the summer of 2023 as approaching 2019, the last good period before Covid. For now, it is not the numbers but the amount of bookings that will reach then. And if the forint also strengthens, that can only be good for travel.
At the moment, if you are planning a holiday abroad, you should expect a starting price of 300-350 thousand forints (EUR 800-940) per person for 8 days and 7 nights, which includes most of the popular Mediterranean destinations. The budget for optional activities is entirely dependent on individual needs, as is the budget for restaurants and food. This is also why many people opt for the slightly more expensive all-inclusive option, as it allows them to plan their spending with food already taken care of.
Featured photo via Pixabay