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Ecostat Tourism Barometer slips in H2

Ecostat's Tourism Barometer, a measure of sentiment in Hungary's tourism industry, fell 1.4 percentage points to 36.4% in the second half of 2006, Ecostat, the research arm of the Central Statistics Office (KSH), announced on Tuesday.

Ecostat director Pál Belyó said the tourism sector expanded just 0.5% in 2006 compared to 2005, slowing significantly from previous years. He added that the sector was unlikely to see much of an improvement in 2007 with both domestic and foreign demand flat. Foreign tourists are expected to bring €3.2 billion to Hungary in 2006, compared to €3.4 billion in 2005. They are expected to spend €3.2 billion-€3.3 billion next year. The sector will contribute to a slight improvement of the current account deficit, mainly because of the falling number of Hungarians traveling abroad.