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Hungary guest nights rise 5% yr/yr in January-March

Guest nights spent at commercial accommodations in Hungary rose 5% to 2.779 million in January-March from a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Friday. Foreign guest nights rose 6% to 1,333,000 and domestic guest nights rose 4% to 1,446,000.

The number of guest nights fell 7.0% yr/yr in December 2009, when foreign guest nights fell 3.5% and domestic guest nights dropped 10.0%.

Hungary guest nights had been down year-on-year each month since November 2008.

Guest nights in 2009 dropped 8.4% on average from 2008 to 18.287m, including a 9.8% fall in foreign guest nights to 9.029 million. Guest nights fell 1.5% in 2008.

In January-March this year, the number of guests at commercial accommodations rose 4% yr/yr, the same as guest nights did, to 1.143 million.

Foreign guests numbered 499,000 in January-March, 7% more than a year earlier. Their full-year number fell 9.7% in 2009 to 3.175 million. The number of guest nights spent at commercial accommodations around Lake Balaton rose 4% in January-March, while Budapest registered a 5% increase.

The average hotel occupancy rate was 35% in January-March after 30.4% in December and 39% in November. The average rate for 2009 was 43.0%. The monthly rate dropped after reaching a 2009 peak at 58.3% in August 2009. Five-star hotels had an average occupancy rate of 47% and four-star hotels registered 40% occupancy. Spa hotels achieved the highest occupancy rate at 48%, although this figure still remained 2 percentage points below its level one year earlier. The average rate for 2009 was 43.0%. The monthly rate dropped after reaching a 2009 peak at 58.3% in August 2009.

Gross revenue from accommodation fell 0.5% to 1% yr/yr to HUF 40 billion in January-March at current prices. It fell 9.0% yr/yr on average last year to HUF 127.5 billion. In January-March, gross revenue from accommodation included HUF 20 billion from accommodation charges. The gross average price of a hotel room was HUF 13,099 in January-March 2010, and the gross REVPAR (revenue per available room) was HUF 4570. In terms of foreign guests, the fall in accommodation revenues was influenced by the strengthening of the forint against the euro, which reached 9% as an average of the first three months.