copy the linklink copied!Hungary

copy the linklink copied!Tourism in the economy

Tourism has outperformed growth in the wider economy over the last decade. The sector directly contributed 6.5% of Hungarian GDP in 2017, rising towards 10.2% of GDP when indirect impacts are included. The same year, tourism directly accounted for over 418 000 jobs, or 9.6% of total employment. Travel exports represented 23.5% of total service exports in 2018.

Hungary welcomed a record number of visitors in 2018, following years of steady growth. International tourist arrivals totalled 14.9 million, an increase of 5.7% on 2017. The top source markets for inbound tourists are Germany (13.5% share), Romania (11.1%), Austria (9.3%) and Slovakia (8.7%), which collectively made up 42.7% of arrivals in 2018. Other markets of significant volume include the Czech Republic (5.5%), United Kingdom (5.2%) and Poland (3.3%). Bed-nights from international tourists reached 20.2 million. The domestic tourism economy is also significant, with 14.4 million domestic tourists recorded in 2018, similar to the previous year. Domestic bed-nights in all types of accommodation reached 22.1 million, a growth of 6.1% from the previous year.

copy the linklink copied!Tourism governance and funding

Overall responsibility for tourism was recently transferred from the Ministry of National Development to the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, demonstrating the importance the Government attaches to tourism.

The Hungarian Tourism Agency is responsible for the development and management of tourism. Established in 2016 to maximise the contribution of tourism to broader national policies, the Agency defines the tourism strategy, draws up the budget, supervises the allocation of European funds and manages the country’s brand. It promotes the country abroad, increases quality by developing related quality systems, and invests in priority tourism projects. In addition, the Agency is responsible for developing new products, allocating grants and providing advice on tourism education. It also plays a pivotal role in tourism-proofing any draft legislation that may potentially impact on the sector, and co-ordinates the work of different parts of government, as well as engaging with the private, academic and civil society sectors.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also plays an important role in relation to bilateral dealings on tourism matters with other countries, including oversight of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Co-ordination Centre. The Hungarian Tourism Association Fund is the umbrella organisation that co-ordinates across the activities of all the different tourism-related associations.

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Hungary: Organisational chart of tourism bodies
Hungary: Organisational chart of tourism bodies

Source: OECD, adapted from the Hungarian Tourism Agency, 2020.

copy the linklink copied!Tourism policies and programmes

The National Tourism Development Strategy 2030 defines the short, medium and long term goals for the sector, and the tasks to achieve these, it identifies key intervention points, establishes delivery measures, and allocates resources. The Strategy also provides a framework where public and private actors can develop a common vision for the future of tourism in Hungary. It is a policy document that is fully informed by the national context and also aligns to EU development norms. The emphasis of the Strategy is a co-ordinated approach to destination-led development. Destinations are encouraged to develop the entire visitor experience, while drawing on support from the Hungarian Tourism Agency for development, branding and marketing expertise. Related infrastructure and facilities are also considered in context of the wider destination plan, which is designed to provide internationally competitive tourism products and services across the country.

The following principles underpin delivery of the Strategy:

  • Tourism developed in balance with local communities and the natural environment.

  • An emphasis on family-friendly tourism facilities and experiences.

  • A focus on accessible tourism, particularly for visitors with disabilities.

  • A clear offer and comprehensive guidance for visitors, including multi-lingual information, signage etc.

  • The creative and innovative use of technology through digital applications and support to businesses.

The Government has identified high priority tourism development areas with the greatest potential for scalable, highly profitable tourism that will attract international visitors. A current issue is the successful oversight of the development, management and marketing of a range of complex, high quality tourism experiences in these newly defined tourism development areas. Launched in 2018, the Kisfaludy Tourism Development Programme outlines the development path for destinations, products and attractions. To support this initiative, a new national Accommodation Development Framework is being piloted, which seeks ultimately to target the renovation of over 30 000 rooms nationwide, along with facilities such as lakeside beaches and adventure parks. Applicants for funds must comply with specific requirements relating to product development, training, promotional activities and collaboration with other local service providers. The aim is to ultimately help strengthen both the competitiveness and sustainability of the destination.

Improving the opportunities open to domestic tourists is another priority with the aim of more even distribution over time and space, and the development of coherent, sustainable and profitable regional destinations. By 2030, the objective is for tourism to be a leading sector of economic growth, offering quality, accessible experiences, employing innovative solutions, and offers a favourable and inclusive career path, as well as contributing to local communities and national values.

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Creation of the National Tourism Data Supply Centre in Hungary

The National Tourism Data Supply Centre (NTAK) aims to support the digitisation of the tourism sector, and enhance its competitiveness, by providing robust and timely data. This will contribute to Hungary’s overall target of reaching 50 million guest nights by 2030. The initiative is a new digital data supply system that gathers and presents data from all types of accommodation in real time. The objectives are to:

  • Accurately measure traffic data for the entire accommodation sector, including anonymised data for the number of guests, their place of origin, and time spent.

  • Use the data to plan and measure sectoral strategies, developments and campaigns more effectively.

  • Prepare projections on guest traffic based on occupancy data.

  • Reduce the administrative and tax liabilities of accommodation providers.

  • Build a single national accommodation database of providers.

  • Legitimise and expose the total value of the sector, upon which the Government will consider reducing the VAT rate as for the catering industry.

NTAK makes it possible to measure marketing activities more effectively, allows for better targeting of campaigns and interventions to increase interest in Hungary. The Hungarian Tourism Agency uses the data to prepare reports and analysis for the tourism industry. The data can be used as a strategic aid to make projections and comparisons with the results of other countries. The Agency also provides summary reports back to the accommodation sector to enable benchmarking and business performance assessment. Other authorities, such as the National Tax and Customs Administration and local government, will also have access to the data to improve efficiency and administration.

A range of legislation has been introduced that affects and benefits the tourism sector. For example, legislation now encourages employers through the use of quotas to positively discriminate when hiring staff in favour of people with disabilities. Employers with more than 25 employees are required to pay contributions if the number of disabled employees is less than 5% of the total. If the above quota is met, however, the contribution is waived and the employer may also be eligible for additional benefits. Such legislation has been beneficial for the tourism sector, which typically offers flexible and diverse employment opportunities for different types of people and is used to providing a welcoming environment for all visitors and employees. The principle of accessibility is fully reflected in actions set out in the Strategy. In addition, the National Tourism Data Supply Centre (NTAK) is currently in development, and aims to increase competitiveness through the digitalisation of accommodation data (see box). The initiative directly collects up-to-date and accurate statistical information from accommodation businesses to support better planning, measurement, and targeted marketing and traffic projections.

copy the linklink copied!Statistical Profile

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Hungary: Domestic, inbound and outbound tourism

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

TOURISM FLOWS, THOUSAND

Domestic tourism

Total domestic trips

..

..

..

..

..

Overnight visitors (tourists)

5 515

5 985

6 346

6 809

7 171

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

..

..

..

..

..

Nights in all types of accommodation

16 404

17 716

18 945

20 790

22 053

Hotels and similar establishments

9 419

10 126

10 937

11 553

12 302

Other collective establishments

4 259

4 455

4 552

5 114

5 188

Private accommodation

2 726

3 135

3 456

4 123

4 563

Inbound tourism1

Total international arrivals

17 253

20 189

21 444

22 371

23 893

Overnight visitors (tourists)

10 158

12 410

13 474

14 102

14 905

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

7 095

7 778

7 970

8 270

8 988

Top markets

Germany

1 898

1 899

1 783

1 865

2 009

Romania

758

1 583

2 299

2 076

1 662

Austria

976

1 088

997

1 254

1 391

Slovak Republic

1 024

1 533

1 476

1 562

1 302

Czech Republic

748

792

833

862

822

Nights in all types of accommodation

14 103

15 144

16 789

19 077

20 162

Hotels and similar establishments

10 653

11 093

11 802

12 754

13 094

Other collective establishments

1 698

1 870

2 000

2 188

2 246

Private accommodation

1 752

2 182

2 987

4 135

4 822

Outbound tourism

Total international departures

8 933

9 705

10 168

10 874

12 419

Overnight visitors (tourists)

4 927

5 720

6 303

6 707

7 595

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

4 006

3 985

3 865

4 167

4 824

Top destinations

Germany

686

812

956

1 007

899

Slovak Republic

476

642

674

769

876

Austria

741

818

848

897

808

Romania

437

619

793

705

774

Czech Republic

522

473

544

572

641

TOURISM RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURE, MILLION HUF

Inbound tourism

Total international receipts

1 740 630

1 936 973

2 102 563

2 299 013

2 602 621

International travel receipts

1 365 085

1 487 597

1 594 604

1 694 330

1 870 832

International passenger transport receipts

375 546

449 376

507 959

604 683

731 789

Outbound tourism

Total international expenditure

629 799

686 340

769 662

831 196

888 874

International travel expenditure

472 913

511 531

608 585

672 179

715 494

International passenger transport expenditure

156 887

174 809

161 077

159 016

173 381

.. Not available

1. Arrivals from demand side surveys; Nights from supply side surveys.

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934076913

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Hungary: Enterprises and employment in tourism

Number of establishments1

Number of persons employed

2018

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

..

..

..

..

..

..

Tourism industries

185 963

368 056

411 914

427 715

418 017

..

Accommodation services for visitors

37 347

36 419

40 115

41 488

35 838

..

Hotels and similar establishments

2 425

26 972

30 152

32 694

30 588

..

Food and beverage serving industry

34 570

125 090

135 265

145 424

146 096

..

Passenger transport

11 332

87 002

92 752

93 983

98 840

..

Air passenger transport

112

..

..

..

..

..

Railways passenger transport

3

28 904

32 801

28 531

33 138

..

Road passenger transport

11 071

52 747

54 094

58 587

60 186

..

Water passenger transport

146

..

..

..

..

..

Passenger transport supporting services

4 969

20 352

25 487

26 595

25 163

..

Transport equipment rental

4 864

..

..

..

..

..

Travel agencies and other reservation services industry

3 352

10 171

7 660

7 413

8 087

..

Cultural industry

44 056

38 068

45 704

48 831

39 466

..

Sports and recreation industry

21 124

24 056

31 950

28 264

27 339

..

Retail trade of country-specific tourism characteristic goods

..

..

..

..

..

..

Other country-specific tourism industries

24 349

26 660

30 872

33 916

29 546

..

Other industries

..

..

..

..

..

..

.. Not available

1. Data refer to number of enterprises.

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934076932

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Hungary: Internal tourism consumption
Million HUF

2017

Domestic tourism expenditure

Inbound tourism expenditure

Internal tourism consumption

Total

..

..

..

Consumption products

614 607

1 386 151

2 000 759

Tourism characteristic products

359 588

994 127

1 353 715

Accommodation services for visitors

113 465

297 785

411 250

Food and beverage serving services

120 332

200 372

320 703

Passenger transport services

48 826

180 597

229 423

Air passenger transport services

36 402

158 660

195 062

Railways passenger transport services

6 393

2 174

8 567

Road passenger transport services

6 031

18 683

24 714

Water passenger transport services

0

1 081

1 081

Passenger transport supporting services

5 321

20 066

25 387

Transport equipment rental services

73

1 766

1 839

Travel agencies and other reservation services industry

32 012

8 866

40 877

Cultural services

6 934

55 760

62 694

Sports and recreation services

25 399

128 298

153 697

Country-specific tourism characteristic goods

..

..

..

Country-specific tourism characteristic services

7 227

100 618

107 845

Other consumption products

255 020

392 024

647 044

Tourism connected products

242 758

357 896

600 654

Non-tourism related consumption products

12 262

34 128

46 390

Non-consumption products

..

..

..

.. Not available

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934076951

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