“Overtourism” threatens Hungary

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Mass tourism has not yet reached Hungary, but the warning signs are already present and the country should be ready to deal with the phenomenon, a study by auditing firm KPMG indicated.

Dániel Indra, head of KPMG Hungary’s tourism section told Pesti Srácok that these warning signs included a local vote in Budapest’s 6th district last year. This downtown district is famous for being the favorite destination for Western European youth’s party weekends. Last year the locals, fed up with all-night partying organized a vote to reduce the opening hours of restaurants and pubs. Voter turnout did not reach the required 20 percent.


Szimpla kert, the heart of Budapest’s party district

Indra also said that locals around lake Balaton – the second most popular Hungarian tourist destination after Budapest – have also begun complaining about their quality of life being compromised by too many visitors in the summer months.

While the danger is not yet present, Indra says the warning signs of bottlenecks are already obvious: the number of passengers at Budapest’s airport has grown from 8.5 million in 2013 to over 15 million this year and hotel occupancy rates in Budapest remained as high as 86 percent this September.

The solution is twofold: on the one hand, agencies should try to stretch out the tourist season and convince visitors to turn their attention to the countryside. The latter, however, also requires additional hotels. This is already happening: next year in the countryside 1,300 new hotel rooms are expected to be built in various investments at other popular tourist destinations.

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