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Tourism sector closes strong year in 2018

Commercial accommodation establishments saw a 3.8% growth in tourism nights in 2018, accompanied by a 9.3% rise in gross revenues compared to a year before, with December growth boosted by long weekends over the holiday period, according to data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

In December 2018, the number of nights spent by international tourists increased by 0.9% compared to the same month of 2017, the KSH said. In the last month of the year, the number of foreign guests arriving at accommodation establishments exceeded 390,000, spending a total of more than 950,000 nights. The number of tourism nights grew in hotels, boarding houses and campsites, while falling in community hostels and bungalows.

More than 75% of tourism nights were spent by international tourists in the Budapest-Central Danube Region, up 1.6% compared to the same month of the previous year.

The number of domestic tourist arrivals grew by 1% in December and exceeded 430,000. The number of tourism nights they spent grew by 2.3% to more than 950,000. The rate of expansion was 2.5% in hotels, realizing 81% of domestic tourism nights.

With the exception of the regions of Northern Hungary and Southern Great Plain, domestic guests spent more nights in each tourist region. The two most popular regions were the Budapest-Central Danube Region and Lake Balaton. 

Room occupancy in hotels rose by 0.4 of a percentage point to 52% in December. Total gross revenues of accommodation establishments grew by 6.7% to HUF 38 billion at current prices; within this, accommodation fee revenues were up by 8.2% (to HUF 21 bln). 

Domestic tourism nights were boosted by the five-day weekend over Christmas and four-day weekend over New Year, state news wire MTI noted.

For the full year of 2018

In the entirety of 2018, commercial accommodation establishments registered a total of 12.5 million arrivals and 30.9 mln tourism nights, up 5.2% and 3.8%, respectively, compared to 2017.

Foreign guests spent 2.4% more (15.3 mln), while domestic guests spent 5.3% more (15.6 mln) nights. Room occupancy in hotels inched up by 2 percentage points to 61.3% over the year.

Total gross sales in commercial accommodation establishments grew by 9.3% at current prices to a total of HUF 510 bln in 2018. Within this, accommodation revenues increased by 8.3% to HUF 301 bln, the KSH reported.

German tourists spent the most guest nights in Hungary last year, at 2,083,100, followed by visitors from the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic, who spent 1,050,500 and 933,900 guest nights, respectively, according to MTI.

At the end of 2018, some 2,633 commercial accommodation establishments were in operation with nearly 79,000 available rooms and 219,000 bed places. The number of rooms increased by 3.1%, while that of bed places by 3.2%.

Data for commercial accommodation establishments in January 2019 will be published on March 20.