budapest danube boat

At Lake Balaton and other rural resorts, the shortage of foreign guests is replaced by domestic demand; however, the situation is much more critical in the case of the Hungarian capital.

This year, Budapest suffers the most due to the shortage of foreign tourists, which is also shown by the fact that hotel prices in the capital have also decreased significantly. As the Hungarian news portal reports, 2019 was a record year when several tourists chose Hungary as their destination, coming from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Russia and China.

This year, however, due to the epidemic situation, accommodation establishments in the capital can concentrate mostly on domestic tourists with lower prices and various special package offers.

According to the data published by the Central Statistical Office (KSH), the number of nights spent by foreign guests in commercial accommodation establishments (hotels, boarding houses, campsites, holiday homes and community accommodation establishments) decreased by 93% in June 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic, while the number spent by domestic guests decreased by 59% compared to the same period last year.

As far as foreign visitors are concerned, the most substantial decrease – 98% – took place in Budapest.

As Menedzsment Fórum reports, it has been also revealed that the turnover at Lake Balaton was 90% lower than in June 2019. Besides visitors coming from the German-speaking countries, the Hungarian Sea used to be highly visited by Czech and Polish guests before the pandemic. Accordingly, last year 226,000 foreign guest nights were registered on the lake shore in the first summer month, compared to this year’s 20,000. Presumably, the number of domestic guest nights in 2019 will be halved this year, which means 232,000 in 2020.

Taking everything into account 900,000 guest nights have fallen out so far this year (500,000 foreign and 400,000 domestic), which is 15% of the annual turnover of the 6 million guest nights at Lake Balaton.

In the countryside, the Hungarian Sea is the most popular domestic destination; however, for the last month of the summer, a growing number of local visitors are expected in Őrség, the Sopron region, Lake Tisza and the surrounding settlements as well.

Read alsoDomestic tourism takes off in Hungary


  1. Last summer was phenomenal here. People had discovered the past few years that Budapest has it all. Sad to read that there are now only 2 percent of the visitors that used to arrive to enjoy all the nuances of this beautiful city. Many businesses have closed also. But because Budapest has emerged from the ashes before and knows how to survive, I’m sure that next year we will see the thriving and vibrating heart of the city rise again.

  2. Beautifully written Natalie – touching and emotionally moving.
    We will rise again, it’s in the core and genes of us, as a Nation, but in the meantime, take care of our loved ones and act responsible, to ensure, this novel coronavirus, is controlled and does not inflict any greater hurt nor pain amongst our beloved fellow Hungarian citizens.
    Stay Well – ALL.

  3. “As the Hungarian news portal reports, 2019 was a record year when several tourists chose Hungary as their destination”
    Several tourists? A handful of tourists? Several tourists means a few, the opposite of what that line was intended to mean!

  4. #Gary: Do stop gushing old boy, it is most unbecoming. As ‘beloved fellow Hungarian citizens’ that may be your personal point of view but it is not one widely shared.

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