During the first quarter of 2018, Hungarians who travelled abroad for shopping purposes already spent 25 billion Forints (~EUR 77m), blokkk.com reports. Shopping tourism has steadily increased over the last five years, with Hungarians spending more than 100 billion Forints (~EUR 313 m) abroad in 2017, mostly in Austria, Serbia and Slovakia.
Compared to the figures of the last five years, Hungarians have not spent this much money in this period of the year before. In 2013, it was only 54 million (~EURE167m) for the first three months of the year, which means that consumer confidence has doubled over half a decade.
|source: KSH, value: Million euros, change: 2017/2013|
The most popular destination for bargains is Austria. Hungarians have left 16 million Forints (EUR 49m) in Austrian shops, which makes up for one-third of all the money we spend abroad. This figure is 3 million (EUR 9m) and 2 million (EUR 6m) in Slovakia and Serbia, respectively. While Slovakia reigned at the second place for a long time, by 2017 Serbia has attracted more shopping tourists than our northern neighbour.
source: KSH, data of quarter years, value: Million Euros,
But changes in the strength of Hungarian currency and the price of petrol are likely to change this pattern for the rest of year, with forint’s recent fall and petrol prices soaring discouraging Hungarians from taking shopping trips abroad.
As regards the reverse process, foreigners spent 40 million forints (EUR 124m) in Hungary so far in 2018. And on a five-year scale, the income from shopping tourism has increased from 130 million to 180 million Forints (EUR 560m), which is a smaller growth compared to Hungarians shopping abroad. Most of these foreigners are from Slovakia, who have spent 56 million Forints (EUR 174m) in our shops in 2017, while Austrians purchased goods for a total of 56 million Forints (EUR 158m).