The tourism results of the World Athletics Championships held in Budapest between August 19-27 exceeded all expectations, the Hungarian Tourism Agency announced. According to data from the National Tourism Data Supply Center, more than 170,000 guests spent more than 460,000 nights in the capital during the tournament, reports Turizmus.com.
During the third biggest sporting event in the world, a large portion of hotels were full, with room occupancy rates averaging over 80 percent. In fact, 71 percent of hotel nights were spent in 4 and 5 star hotels. This strong interest has more than doubled hotel revenues compared to the same period in 2022.
Competitors and tourists from almost all over the world came to Hungary during the World Athletics Championships.
The National Athletics Center in Budapest. Photo: MTI/Illyés Tibor
According to the National Tourism Data Supply Center, during this period, visitors from around 200 countries traveled to Budapest hotels, with foreign tourists accounting for 85 percent of the overnight stays.
Foreigners came from almost every continent, with the UK accounting for nearly 9% of all foreign nights, Germany 9%, and Italy 8%, while American, Israeli, Spanish, Polish, and French travelers were also well represented.
In addition, the World Championships have attracted domestic tourists to the capital as well, with domestic overnight stays up 22% compared to 2022.
Balázs Németh, CEO of the organizer Budapest 2023 Zrt., said that the World Championships had exceeded all their dreams
, being much more successful than they had planned. “It has been the greatest Hungarian sporting event of all time and we have received feedback over the past week and a half from the world’s most respected sports diplomats and athletics superheroes that it was amazing, impressive, perfect, excellent, the greatest, a new benchmark,” he emphasized. Quoting World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, he added that Budapest is a new benchmark in the history of outdoor World Championships, so from now on the World Championships will be measured against Budapest.
Hotels accounted for more than half of the increase in traffic, but private and other accommodation establishments in the capital could not complain either, accounting for 34 percent of overnight stays. The surge in international interest boosted hotel turnover by 32 percent, and private accommodation by 44 percent compared to the same period last year.
Moreover, hotels have also benefited financially from the event, with hotel rooms selling at higher prices than usual during the high season.
Compared to the week before the World Championships, the average hotel room price in the capital rose by almost 15 percent. As a result, hotel revenues doubled during the tournament compared to the same period last year, reaching almost HUF 14 billion (EUR 36.2 million), an increase of 73 percent in real terms.
Péter Horváth, CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, said: “The successful World Championships is another excellent reference for Hungary that can help the country to win more tenders to hold world competitions.
Sport is the fastest growing segment of the events industry, and in this market, Hungary has excellent prospects for the coming years.
This is also important to bear in mind because visitors to sporting events tend to stay longer, spend more, and use quality services. All of this makes it safe to say that tourism is one of the biggest winners of the World Athletics Championships,” the CEO stressed.
Featured photo via Facebook/Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ