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Hotels nearly full for August 17-20 long weekend

Hotels are nearly completely booked for the four-day long weekend leading up to St. Stephenʼs Day on Tuesday, August 20, Hungaryʼs national holiday, with bookings up by 57% compared to the same period last year, Hungarian booking site reports.

The average booking value hovers around HUF 58,500. This is 40% higher than during an average August weekend. Holders of the SZÉP card (a form of benefit from employers, which can be spent primarily on accommodation in Hungary) tend to spend more, with booking values reaching HUF 107,500 in their case. On average, holders of the card book for 4.83 persons, while non-holders book for 3.41 persons per stay.

"This summer brought about a significant increase in the utilization of OTP SZÉP cards," says Ildikó Jandrasits Varga, head of OTPʼs fringe benefits department. "In July, card holders spent some HUF 20 billion on leisure, which represents an 80% increase compared to the same period of last year."

The most popular accommodation types are apartments (25%) and guest houses (22%).

"In the case of SZÉP card owners, the list is somewhat different, as one-third choose to stay in an apartment, while 26% pick three-star hotels," says Nóra Keresztes, marketing manager of "Significantly fewer people, 15%, are looking for guest houses."

The most popular destinations among those who travel domestically on the long weekend are Siófok, Hajdúszoboszló, and Eger, followed by Szeged, Gyula, and Hévíz. The most popular counties are Somogy (15%), Veszprém (11%), and Heves (9%).

"Spa cities and settlements at the Balaton are still very high in demand, and most accommodation is already full for the founding of the state celebrations," Keresztes notes. "Besides bathing, there are possibilities to spend time in an active way, as guests may choose between numerous gastronomical, cultural, and other programs. Still, it is worth checking opening hours before setting out."

Keresztes warns that travelers might have to book an August 20 holiday months or even half-a-year in advance to be sure.