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More day-trippers, with bigger spending power, come to Hungary in Q1

The number of foreign tourists who came to Hungary in the first quarter rose 4.5% to 7,589,000 from the same period a year earlier, growing largely on bigger numbers of one-day visitors, most from neighboring countries, data published by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) show.

The number of tourists who spent more than one day in Hungary inched up 0.4% to 1,595,000 in Q1 from the same period a year earlier. The number of tourists who spent just one day in the country climbed 5.6% to 6,347,000.

The largest number of day-trippers to Hungary came from Slovakia (1,998,000), Romania (1,491,000) and Austria (1,109,000). Visitors from Slovakia and Austria, which both use the euro, may have come to take advantage of the softening forint, which traded an average 13.5% weaker against the euro in Q1 2009 than in the same period a year earlier, National Bank of Hungary figures show.

Spending by one-day tourists rose a sharp 31.3% to HUF 81.5 billion in Q1. Their spending on shopping jumped 63.5% to HUF 37.0 billion. Spending by tourists who spent more days in Hungary a less marked 20.8% to HUF 151.6 billion.

The number of Hungarian tourists who travelled abroad in the first quarter fell 3.1% to 3,586,000 from the same period a year earlier. The number who spent several days abroad rose 5.8% to 1,268,000, but the number of day-trippers dropped 7.4% to 2,318,000. Day-trippers' spending on shopping slipped 3.6% to HUF 14.3 billion. (MTI – Econews)