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Ecostat Tourism Barometer rises slightly in H2

Ecostat's latest Tourism Barometer, a measure of sentiment in Hungary's tourism industry, rose 2.6 percentage points to 35.5% in the second half, but still stood 0.4 percentage points below the level of the second half of last year.

Hungarian households plan to spend less on their summer vacations than in the past six months.

Hotel companies are the most optimistic, they continue to have no major lay-off plans, but their investment plans are modest. Among hotel companies, 40% expect to see a rise in the number of domestic guests and 20% project an increase in the number of foreign guests.

Catering companies predict stagnation in both the tourism sector and their own performance in the coming six months, expecting to see a fall in the number of both foreign and domestic guests, with 7.7% of the companies planning staff cuts.

Travel agents and tour operators are the most pessimistic, predicting a stagnation in the number of both domestic and foreign guests, with 29% of the companies planning lay-offs. Only 30% of the companies expected to see the emergence of new, strong competitors, compared to 80% six months earlier.

Around 35% of Hungarians plan a summer vacation in the next twelve months. About three-quarters of families planning vacations said they wanted to stay in Hungary, slightly more than six months earlier. Around 60% of families had no plans to travel as tourists, compared to 52% six months earlier.

The average time planned for domestic trips fell from 7.11 nights last year and 6.35 nights in the first half of this year to 5.57 nights in the second half of this year. The average length of planned foreign trips is 7.43 nights, compared to 8.3 nights one year earlier and 8.18 nights six months earlier.

Families plan to spend HUF 144,000 (€538)on holidays, compared to HUF 150,000 in the first half of 2009 and HUF 123,000 at the end of 2008.

A total of 36.6% of companies provide some form of assistance to employees' holidays compared to 52% six months earlier. Companies plan to grant one-third of this (compared to 48.4% six months earlier) in the form of holiday vouchers. A total of 82.3% of companies (compared to 72% six months earlier) said they planned to organize a conference in the next three months, with 65.7pc (unchanged from six months earlier) planned trainings for employees. (MTI-ECONEWS)