Hungarian tourism has never been in such a dramatic situation as it is now, due to the coronavirus – said CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency. According to Zoltán Guller, Budapest’s tourism will completely stop for Easter. The tourist agency aims to support the sector with an action plan, which may be introduced to the Government in April.
By the beginning of this week, the Hungarian tourism sector has been facing its most serious crisis ever. According to the CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, just like in the case of several European destinations, Budapest’s tourism sector will completely stop for Easter. The occupancy rate in the capital is estimated for 15% – as reported by the Hungarian news portal infostart.hu.
According to Zoltán Guller, the situation is not that dramatic in the countryside, where the occupancy rate has decreased only by 10-15%. Furthermore, an interesting trend can be observed in domestic tourism – in the case of Hungarian reservations, the number of hotel bookings has decreased, while a significant increase can be seen in the case of guest houses and private accommodations.
The Operative Staff estimates that in Hungary, the disease will peak in June.
From that point when the epidemic reaches its maximum, and the end of the virus will become visible, the Hungarian Tourism Agency will start “tough” campaigns, particularly domestically – commented the CEO, adding that in lucky case, the summer period could be even saved.
Afterwards, the former prosperity could be realised from 10 months up to 1.5 years. Accordingly, Hungarian tourism can be restored for next spring.
Zoltan Guller also emphasised that based on the fact that Hungarian tourism experienced its golden age a few months ago, hopefully, several businesses will manage to survive the forthcoming months thanks to their existing reserves.
The CEO also reported that the Hungarian Tourist Agency will prepare a tourism master plan for this April, including seven points that aim to restore the Hungarian tourism sector.
In addition to the previously announced force majeure fund ( HUF 1 billion), several measures are planned to help liquidity, along with the introduction of guarantee funds, low-interest loan programs and legal facilitations. Zoltan Guller also emphasised the importance of travel campaigns as one of the most essential activities of the government. “We have to restore the former situation; as a result of which, the tourism sector can become competitive again.”
He also added that restoration of the tourism sector is not only the government’s responsibility – municipalities and local governments could benefit from it in the form of tax revenues, while owners could realise a significant amount of profit in the peak season; therefore, they are also obliged to provide financial, moral and professional backgrounds to straighten up the industry.