Hungary 14th best-placed in Europe in tourism recovery


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As countries across the world remove travel limitations and relax their borders, the global tourism industry is on track to fully recover after two years of restrictions, although the pace is variable from destination to destination. In an analysis of which states are returning to their pre-COVID levels quickest, comparing 2021 with 2019, experts at placed Hungary 26th overall and 14th in Europe.

Globally, the survey placed Bahrain at the top with 94.7%. Second place overall and top place in Europe went to Albania with an 89.8% tourist recovery rate. The southeastern European nation saw 5.3 million tourists in 2021, close to matching its 2019 levels of 5.9 million. Luxembourg sits in second place in Europe (and seventh globally), as it welcomed more than 700,000 tourists in 2021, 70% of its 2019 total. The small landlocked central European nation lost “only” half of its usual tourist volume when the lockdowns began in 2020.

Completing the European top three is Iceland (eighth overall), with 1.3 million visitors in 2021, which was 65% of its total for 2019 (2 million). Placing tenth in the European rankings (17th overall) is near neighbor Austria, receiving 12.7 million tourists in 2021. However, this is still only 56% of its 2019 total (22.7 million). Hungary, in 14th in Europe, was placed just behind Greece and saw 7.9 million visitors in 2021, nearly 47% of its 2019 levels.

Germany was among the top five worst performing European countries and saw a 33% recovery in 2021 compared to pre-COVID times. Worst of all was Estonia, with 800,000 tourists, or 24.2% of the 2019 total.

“After around two years of lockdowns, people are again looking abroad for their next holiday,” said James Andrews, personal finance expert at “While some consumer trends have changed forever, a lot of the usual things people look for in a potential destination remain the same. At the top of this list is affordability, no matter the location and type of holiday.”

Globally, 74 countries were surveyed, 22 from Europe. States had to have at least one million tourists in 2019, and reported figures for 2020 and 2021 to be included in the survey. More information can be found at

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