Ecostat’s latest Tourism Barometer, a measure of sentiment in Hungary’s tourism industry, declined 8.4 percentage points to 35.9% from H1 2008, and fell 4.8% points from the same period a year earlier because of the global financial crisis and government austerity measures.
Ecostat director Pál Belyó said next year would be among the most difficult periods in recent years for the tourism sector because of the financial crisis and a fall in consumer spending. Other surveys of the tourism industry show the sector is expected to contract 4-5% in 2009.
Ecostat’s survey found just 41% of Hungarian households plan a summer vacation next year, but 70% of these plan to stay in Hungary. Those who expect to stay in Hungary plan a week-long vacation on average, about the same as in earlier years. Fewer Hungarians plan to vacation abroad, and fewer foreigner tourists are expected to arrive in Hungary.
Hungarian households also expect to spend less on vacations: about HUF 123.000 per head, down from HUF 136,000 a year earlier. Ecostat’s measure of confidence in the hotel industry slipped 3.4 percentage points to 36.6%. Many hotels plan big layoffs, Belyó said. (MTI-Eco)