four seasons

According to the most recent report of STR, more people have booked hotel rooms in Budapest than in Prague or Vienna in January-February 2016, and the number of domestic tourists has also increased, thanks to the wide use of SZEP cards, writes.

Regarding tourists, most of them booked rooms in the country; the number of overnight stays spent by Ukrainians has risen by 43.1%, while Germans spent less time in Hungary, MSZÉSZ’s (Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant Association) report revealed.

The occupancy, gross price and RevPAR (revenue per available room) also increased in February compared to 2015: the gross turnover of Hungarian hotels grew by 6.5% in the first two months of 2016, and its RevPAR increased by 8.1%. The number of domestic overnight stays has increased by 9%, while foreigners spent 8.5% more nights in Hungary.

The industry saw such a huge increase because the usage of SZEP cards have been extended by 21% in Hungarian hotels, many hotels in the country had special offers, there was a mild winter, and gas prices were low.

In the first two months of 2016, hotels in the country saw a total increase of 18.5% in foreign overnight stays, while it only grew by 3.8% in Budapest. From the countries of the European Union there was a 8.5% increase, from European countries there was a 3.3% rise, while there was a total growth of 17.9% from Asia (this huge rise can be credited to China with 102.9%, and Israel with 18.8%). Austria (+12.3%), the Czech Republic (+18.1%), and Romania (+22%) are still in the lead.

However, less Russian tourists seem to be choosing Hungary as a holiday destination; there was a 9.9% decrease in the first two months of 2016, but there was still a 5.1% increase in February compared to 2015. Despite the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the number of overnight stays spent by Ukrainians grew by 43.1% in January-February 2016.

German tourists traditionally often choose Hungary as a holiday destination, but the negative tendency has continued in the first two months of 2016 as well, and there was a 2.5% decrease in the number of overnight stays. However, February brought a 3.4% increase.

Comparing the hotels of Hungary, hotels from the country saw a much higher increase: their gross revenue has grown by 10.3%, there was a 12.9% increase in their RevPAR, while Budapest only saw a 2.2% increase, and the RevPAR of all the hotels in the capital was only 3.7% higher than in the first two months of 2015.

The number of domestic overnight stays has grown by 9% in the country, while the number of foreign overnight stays has increased by 18.5% (this can mostly be credited to the increased number of Slovakian, Czech, Romanina, Ukrainian, and Austrian tourists in wellness hotels).

The total revenue of hotels in the Balaton region has grown by 10.7%, and their RevPAR has increased by 17.8%. Regarding the categories, 3 star hotels’ saw a 14.2% RevPAR increase in the country, while in Budapest 5 star hotels were more popular; their RevPAR was 8.9% higher compared to 2015.

Due to the migration crisis, Budapest saw a slight decrease in bookings in the last quarter of 2015; however, tourists are no longer discouraged to travel to Budapest and according to STR’s report, more than 50% of the Budapest hotels were booked in January-February 2016, which is higher than Prague (49.6%) and Vienna (49.3%).

While 22 new hotels opened in Hungary in 2015 with 941 available rooms (4 in Budapest and 18 in the country), no new hotels were opened in the first two months of 2016.

According to the predictions of MSZÉSZ, data shows that the room occupancy in the Budapest hotels (3 and 4 stars) in April, May, June, and July, will exceed the number of bookings in 2016. However, 5 star hotels might see a decrease in bookings, except in June.

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