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Hungarians spend 28% more abroad in the H1 - extended

Hungarians spent Ft 302 billion (€1.29 billion) when traveling abroad in January-June 2008, 28% more than a year earlier, figures published by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on Friday reveal.

During the same period, foreign visitors’ spending in Hungary rose 12.0% to Ft 449 billion. The surplus decreased Ft 18 billion (or 10.3%) from H1 2008 to Ft 148 billion.

Based on current account statistics excluding international transport-related spending, the H1 tourism surplus fell 12% from a year earlier to HUF 136bn. The number of Hungarians who traveled abroad in the first six months 2008 rose a mere 0.1% to 7.89 million. The number of foreign visitors to Hungary dropped 2.0% from a year earlier to 16.922 million.

In the Q2, 4.189 million Hungarians traveled abroad, 1.4% less than in the same period a year earlier. Their spending was up 33.3% at Ft 168 billion. The number of foreign visitors fell 2.4% year-on-year (yr/yr) to 9.324 million in Q2, and their spending in Hungary rose 11.5% to Ft 262 billion. The resulting Ft 94 billion tourism surplus was down 13.8% from Q2 2007. Day trippers to Hungary accounted for three-fourths of all foreign visitors and two-fifth of them were just transit travelers. The number of one-day visits by foreigners fell 3.2% in January-June, including a 3.5% yr/yr drop in Q2.

The number of foreign guests staying for more than one day in Hungary rose 2.7% in H1, and rose 1.4% in Q2 compared to the respective 2007 periods. Foreigners who stayed in Hungary more than one day stayed an average 6.9 days, 1.1 day less than in January-June 2007. Accommodation costs accounted for 34.8% of foreigners’ total spending in Hungary, food for 10.2% and shopping for 18.5% and spa, wellness and medical services for 7.9%.

About two-thirds of Hungarians who traveled abroad in January-June 2008 left the country for just one day. Single-day excursions of Hungarians were down 3.4% in the H1 of 2008 to 5.275 million, and fell 5.6% yr/yr in Q2. The number of Hungarians traveling for several days rose 7.6% yr/yr to 2.614 million in H1, and by 7.9% to 1.415 million in Q2 alone.

About 50% of the Hungarian single-day travelers traveled to shop, while only 2% of several-day travelers had shopping as the motive. Apart from one-day travelers, Hungarian tourists spent an average 11.1 days abroad. These travelers spent just 12.0% of their total expenditure on shopping as opposed to 60.3% spend on tourism services. (MTI-Econews)