According to a Budapest tour operator, tourists complain that the streets of Budapest are too dim. It turns out that the lack of Christmas lighting this year does affect tourism in Hungary after all, as foreigners miss the decorative festive lights.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to visit the Hungarian capital to soak up the enchanting Christmas atmosphere. However, this year, some of them feel disappointed due to the lack of Christmas lighting. An employee of a Budapest travel agency told Metropol that many Italian tourists expressed their discontent that the Christmas lights had been turned off. She even added that the Hungarian capital had lost its Christmas appeal.
“Many visitors shared their frustration that they bought the plane ticket months ago as part of various promotions and were expecting the fairytale-like, illuminated city seen in the brochures. It is no wonder that they were disappointed since everything was dark instead”, said the travel specialist. The disappointment of tourists could cause direct damage to domestic tourism and trade, which has already been badly affected by the pandemic, the expert says. “This is such a sensitive area that even the 2010 red mud disaster in Ajka took a toll on Budapest’s tourism. Everything that happens this December affects the future, tourism does not forget”, she added.
Although Budapest is a popular Christmas destination worldwide, Italian newspapers and travel mags are the firsts to recommend Budapest as a holiday destination. For example, Sky Tg24 wrote that the Hungarian capital was perfect for a family trip and that Italians could truly experience the festive spirit and witness the heartwarming Christmas traditions.
However, this year, many tourists expressed their disappointment. “Yesterday I came back from Budapest and to be honest I am a bit disappointed. Not so much because of the city… rather because of the Christmas atmosphere. I thought I would find a postcard city like I saw in the photos. On the contrary, there are very few lights, and what was there, did not particularly affect me either…” – wrote Alex, who came from Sardinia to Budapest for Christmas. “I am here for the third time, but now it is poor and there is not enough decorative lighting, and the fairs are expensive. I did not feel the Christmas atmosphere that I have had in recent years…” – Manuela complained. In addition, according to Anna, Andrássy Street is pitch-dark, and there is not much of a Christmas atmosphere going on.