tourist budapest hungary

Budapest has become a top tourist destination in the past few years – but where do foreigners come from, for what reason and how much do they spend?’s article discovered the answers to these main questions.

Although some locals might not be fond of tourists, it is an undeniable fact that they are contributing to the country’s economic development in many ways,  as they set the standards higher – and spend more money here than locals. The three main factors of tourism include the higher rate of employability in the tourism and catering sectors, the amount of money that foreigners spend here, and the encouraging factor that stimulates the government to spend on urban developments.

Although the effects of foreigners on different sectors of the labour market might be obvious, the amount of money they spend here is definitely not.

According to the ‘Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2018’ report, there have been several significant contributions made by tourists in Budapest in 2017:

  • the direct contribution of tourists accounted for 2.4 pc of the total GDP in Hungary, which is expected to rise to 3.0 pc in 2018,
  • the total (direct & indirect) contribution made up 8.0 pc of the GDP, an amount of more than HUF 3,000 billion (USD 10,9918mn),
  • 157,000 jobs existed thanks to tourists, which is also expected to be higher in 2018,
  • and tourists generated 5.6 pc of the total export from Hungary,
  • an amount of HUF 380 billion (USD 1,394 mn) was spent on tourism investments, making up to 4.5 pc of all investments, which is expected to rise by 1.2 pc in the next ten years.
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Out of 185 countries, Hungary finished in 60th place in terms of the size of the relative importance of travel & tourism’s contribution to the GDP.

Internal tourism consumption grew by 3.4 pc compared to 2016, while capital investment rose by 17.9 pc and employment impacts increased by 1.9 pc. Visitors arriving for business trips highly surpass the average amount of spending with daily HUF 40,000 (USD 141) spent in Hungary, while other foreigners – mostly here for studying, health care, religious reasons or leisure activities – spend less than the average of HUF 16,000 (USD 56).

Most of the foreigners come from Europe, Austria being the biggest source of spending visitors, while Germans, Romanians, Americans, Slovakians, Britons and Ukrainians have also made it onto the list.

We have recently written about the fact that Budapest is the 32nd most visited city according to Mastercard’s survey. The reasons for such a rise might be the increasing number of cheap flights to Budapest and also the summertime activities such as festivals and other events that occur here and attract many tourists. We have also reported about the growing number of people who choose Budapest as their destination. We also make it to more and more recommendations, such as CNN’s report on the 9 favourite hidden places in Budapest.

Budapest is not the only place in the country that was visited by a flow of tourists. According to the chairman of the Touristic Association of Balaton (Balatoni Turizmus Szövetség), there were so many people visiting Lake Balaton in the summer that it was almost impossible to find lodgings.


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