The number of foreign visitors in Hungary was up 2.4% yr/yr at 8.987 million in the fourth quarter and the number of Hungarians traveling abroad rose 3.0% to 3.901 million, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Friday.
In the full year of 2011, the number of foreign visitors rose 3.5% to 41.304 million, and the number of Hungarians traveling abroad was 16.634 million, up 3.4%.
Hungary's tourism surplus was HUF 162 billion in Q4, up 14.7% yr/yr, as spending by foreign tourists (tourism exports) rose 12.6% yr/yr to HUF 290 billion and Hungarians' spending abroad increased 9.6% to HUF 128 billion.
The annual tourism surplus rose 2.1% from 2010 to HUF 666 billion in 2011. Spending by foreign tourists was up 0.9% at HUF 1,200 billion and Hungarians' spending abroad fell 0.6% to HUF 535 billion.
KSH noted that the forint-term annual surplus rose thanks to Q4 when the surplus was boosted by the weak forint.
Foreign visitors spent a total of 99.2 million days in Hungary last year, and 75.2% of them paid one-day visits. The number of one-day foreign visitors rose 2.2% and the number of visitors spending more than one day in Hungary rose 7.8% last year.
The average length of stay for foreign visitors in Hungary was 2.4 days in Q4, unchanged from the previous two quarters, and the 2011 average of 2.4 days was unchanged from 2010.
The foreign visitors spending more than one day in Hungary spent on average 6.7 days in Q4, less than in the previous two quarters, and spent an average 6.6 days last year, down from 6.9 days in 2010. Most of them came as before from Germany and Austria.
Those spending several days in Hungary last year spent 46% of all expenditure on accommodation and catering, 10.9% on transportation, 3.4% on fuel and 7.4% on food and beverages, KSH said.
German visitors spent the most, HUF 226 billion or 18.8% of foreign visitors' total, and those spending more than HUF 50 billion last year included those arriving from Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the United States.
Hungarian travelers stayed on average 2.9 days abroad in the fourth quarter, unchanged from one year earlier, and the 2011 average of 3.1 days was slightly down from 3.2 days in 2010.
67.9% of the Hungarians traveling abroad were one-day visitors, and 49.8% of them went on shopping tours. Tourism was the motive in the case of 30.1% one-day visits and in 87% of longer trips. Official trips made up 17.5% of one-day travels and 9.9% of several-day visits of Hungarians abroad.