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Hungary's tourism sector picks up

Q1 witnessed the arrival of 493,000 foreign guests at Hungarian hotels and other commercial accommodation; these visitors accounted for a total of 1,4 million nights. The number of guests increased by 18% year-on-year, while the number of nights went up by 14% compared with the same period. 70% of the foreign tourists arrived from the EU; the top five countries in terms of visitor numbers were Germany, the UK, Austria, Italy and the U.S. Spa and wellness hotels said foreign tourists had spent 9%-19% more nights there than they did between January and March 2004. In Q1 2005, 561,000 Hungarian guests used commercial accommodation, spending almost 1,3 million nights there. The number of visitors exceeded the Q1 2004 statistics by 9%, while the number of nights was 7% higher than a year earlier. The hotel industry realized a total revenue of more than Ft 35 billion in the first three months, a 17% increase compared to Q1 2004. Ferihegy International Airport reported a 37% year-on-year rise in the number of foreign passengers, while 25% more Hungarians flew than in Q1 2004.