As part of a pre-Christmas campaign, the Hungarian Tourism Agency simultaneously promotes the ideas of gifting experience and picking domestic destinations by engaging Hungarian celebrities.
“We are surrounded by objects we donʼt know how to use or what for and no matter how many new ones we buy, our mind is wired to always ask for more,” said psychologist Anna Panyi in a recent event organized by the Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTÜ) under the motto “Gift Experience”. However, Harvard studies confirm that what truly leads to happiness is not more physical wealth, but the quality of the human relations in oneʼs life. “Success and money do matter, of course, but statistics shows that it is rather experiences that will never fade with time; therefore, everybody is encouraged to surprise loved ones with an experience instead, especially now at Christmas time,” Panyi added.
Under the MTÜ initiative, the concept of the “gifting experience” should be connected with another of their programs, namely “Great to be here”, which is meant to promote domestic destinations. Ideally, as a result, a growing number of people may consider buying domestic trips as presents on various occasions.
“Our new campaign launched in the fall aims at drawing attention to different regions of the country by engaging Hungarian celebrities who share their personal thoughts and memories with their followers on Facebook. Meanwhile they have the chance to rediscover their assigned place themselves, which they are familiar with anyway since that is where they have their childhood memories from,” Gabriella Liptay, director of communications of MTÜ added. “This way we hope to boost interest for domestic tourism.”
Singer Csaba Vastagh is responsible for Balaton, fencing Olympic champion, Áron Szilágyi promotes Budapest, singer and artist Lilla Polyák is giving a boost to Sopron and its surroundings, while rock band Hooligans have signed up for the Tokaj region.
“When you walk the streets of Budapest, you wouldnʼt think how many great stories lurk behind the buildings. Such tours lead by pro guides make you aware of that and help you sharpen your eyes for detail,” Szilágyi said.
“I am originally from Veszprém, so there’s lots of stuff to remember about Lake Balaton. But even I was amazed by how much I donʼt know about it; for instance, that a hundred years ago people didnʼt go there in masses to have fun there, it was for fishing only,” Vastagh recalled.
Tours by the celebrities are broadcast live on Facebook, which can reach out to tens of thousands, thus fuelling the buzz. Even though the latest official statistics of KSH, the Central Statistical Office, say that around 50% of all tourism comes from Hungarians already, there is still room for expansion. MTÜʼs Christmas campaign to connect the promotion of local regions with the importance of gifting an experience instead of objects should contribute to pushing the ratio of domestic tourists upwards.