blue wave flag, balaton
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Business online Világgazdaság writes that thanks to the hot summer and the versatile programmes at the beaches near Lake Balaton, tourism is at its peak, breaking records at the ‘Hungarian Sea’.

According to the chairman of the Touristic Association of Balaton (Balatoni Turizmus Szövetség), there are so many people visiting Lake Balaton these days that it has become a real challenge to find lodgings. Some of the luckier ones may find private accommodations in the nearby towns or villages (which is beneficial for local tourism), but others might have to resort to sleeping in their cars or putting up tents near their cars.

The expansion of the lodgings can be expected to start around 2020, so in the following two years, the task is to improve the regions parking opportunities and traffic as well.

This unprecedented flux in tourism can be explained by the hot weather, along with the varied and exciting programmes and activities organised around Lake Balaton.

On top of this, the quality of the water itself is exceptional, despite the hundreds of swimmers enjoying the coolness of it each day.

Some of the beaches were a full house, while others have seen 30 per cent more guests than the average. However, at the open-air beaches there was some staggering as compared to other years due to the heavy rains, but as August is expected to be hot and dry, the beaches will likely be able to make up for the losses of the previous months.

There are only 20 towns left around Lake Balaton with free beaches, and locals are fighting to at least keep these.

As we have mentioned above, most hotels usually have no vacancy, as according to the chairman of the Hungarian Hotel & Restaurant Association, lots of last-minute bookings are experienced during this heat at those hotels that either have a pool or are near a beach. In the last 7-10 days, a lot of bookings were made three days before occupying the rooms, which is a quite rare phenomenon.

Financial successes

The owner-manager of Anna Grand Hotel (where the Anna balls are held), Ernő Lengyel, revealed that they have expected a 3-4% growth in traffic, which they have accomplished. They have raised their prices by 1-2% on average.

The largest hotel on the Southern bank of Lake Balaton, Hotel Azúr, offers 271 rooms with 4 and 5-star services. The sales manager of this hotel, Balázs Sternóczky, told Világgazdaság that

their rooms were booked in the same ratio as in previous year, but their income has grown, due to the 8 per cent rise in their prices.

The deputy manager of Balatontourist Kft. (managed 8 camping sites near Lake Balaton), Ferenc Székely, said that as of August 5th, the number of guests has grown by 0.4 per cent, while the nights spent at their camping sites has grown by 1.5 per cent compared to last year.

The percentage of foreign guests at Hotel Azúr has fallen to 35%, most of them are German. More and more people arrive from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland. The percentage of guests from abroad at the Balatontourist campings has grown to 40%. Most of their guests are from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria.

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