Christmas fairs in Budapest are spectacular and a major tourist attraction in December. The organizers of the Christmas fair in Vörösmarty tér expect 800,000 visitors in this season, of which 70% will be foreign tourists. Online portal index.hu made an analysis of the costs and profits that exhibitors can expect.
In central Budapest, renting a wooden hut of 4 sqm costs HUF 980,000 during the fair, from November 10 to December 29.
Units selling cooked food are even more expensive: HUF 1.5 million for a chestnut roaster, HUF 6 mln for a lángos or kürtős kalács booth, and hot food sellers on the podium erected in the middle of the square pay as much as HUF 25 mln for the privilege of their elevated position.
In the outer districts prices are much lower: in District XII, it is HUF 239,000; in Óbuda, it is between HUF 200,000 and HUF 400,000, but for 23 days and not 50 as in central Budapest.
Services included in these prices are the wooden booths, security, toilets for sellers, in some cases electricity (but in other cases it can be charged separately), and marketing.
The costs of products reflect the differences in rental costs: 100 ml of mulled wine costs HUF 300 in central areas and 200-250 in Buda; fried sausage is HUF 1,800-1,950 in Vörösmarty tér and at the Bazilika fair, while in Óbuda it is HUF 1,300; kürtős kalács is HUF 1,700-2,000 in the ceter and HUF 1,000 in Óbuda.
Calculating with all costs, cooked food sellers make profit of 10-15% at Christmas fairs. Visitors can expect higher prices next year, as salaries are rising due to labor shortage.
As for handmade products, manufacturers told index.hu that their prices at the Christmas fairs are pretty much what they charge normally and while the rental costs for the markets are high, they can make revenues that amount to almost half of their full-year amount.
Basically, all sellers interviewed by index.hu said that participating in the Christmas fairs is good business, though, as with many things, it requires a little luck and a lot of hard work.