Malév closure behind shorter, cheaper visits by tourists to Hungary

Foreign tourists are tending to stay for shorter periods in Hungary and to spend less, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) says. The number of foreign visitors staying more than one day fell from 5.3 million in 2011 to 5.1 million last year while day visitors rose from 31 million to 33 million. Spending per day dropped for both day visitors and those staying longer, with the first group spending 10 200 forint (34 euro, down from 12 100 forint/40 euro) and the second 17 300 forint (58 euro), down from 19 500 forint (65 euro).

KSH analysts link the trend towards shorter and cheaper visits to the bankruptcy of national airline Malév in February 2012 and its replacement by low-cost carriers, with data from Budapest Airport providing a measure of confirmation.

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(Photo: Sorina Bindea/