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UPDATE - Number of foreign visitors to Hungary rises 5.3% to 10.1m in Q2

The number of foreign visitors rose yr/yr in Q2 the third time since Q4 2009 and the number of Hungarians travelling abroad rose for the third time since Q2 2009. Both increases started in Q4 last year.

In the first half of 2011, the number of foreign visitors rose 3.5% to 17.636 million, and the number of Hungarians travelling abroad was 7.58 million, up 3.4%.

Hungary's tourism surplus rose 5.9% yr/yr to HUF 196 billion in the second quarter of 2011 as spending by foreign tourists (tourism exports) was up 1.2% at HUF 315 billion and Hungarians' spending abroad fell 5.8% to HUF 119 billion.

The tourism surplus in the first two quarters totalled HUF 295 billion, down 0.2pc yr/yr, with tourism exports amounting to HUF 523 billion, down 1.0% from a year earlier, and tourism imports totalling HUF 227 billion, down 2.1% from the first half of last year

In the first half of 2011, HUF 360bn or more than two-thirds of the amount spent by foreign tourists was related to tourism consumption. Of tourism imports, HUF 165 billion or 72.6% of spending was related to tourism consumption.

The Q2 rise in the spending by foreign tourists followed two quarterly yr/yr drops.

The fall in spending by Hungarians abroad followed a rise in the first quarter. Reflecting the fiscal tightening following the 2008 crisis, spending by Hungarians abroad has been down yr/yr each quarter starting Q3 2009 except for rises in Q3 2010 and Q1 2011.

The forint-term figures were affected by exchange rate movements, with the forint strengthening 1pc on average against the euro in H1 2011 from the same period of the previous year.

Foreign visitors spent a total of 25.336 million days in Hungary in the second quarter of 2011, and 74.4% of them paid one-day visits. The average length of stay for foreign visitors was unchanged yr/yr at 2.5 days in Q2.

In the first half of 2011, foreign visitors spent a total of 41.985 million days in Hungary, with those arriving for one-day visits making up 75.0%. The average length of stay for foreign visitors in Hungary in the first two quarters was unchanged yr/yr at 2.4 days.

The foreign visitors spending more than one day in Hungary spent on average 6.9 days in Q2, down 1.4% yr/yr. In the first half, the foreign visitors spending several days spent on average 6.5 days, down 3.0% yr/yr.

In H1 2011, those spending several days in Hungary spent 45.0% of all expenditure on accommodation and catering, 10.4% on transportation, 4.0% on fuel and 7.7% on food and beverages, KSH said.

German visitors spent the most, HUF 102.441 billion or close to 20% of foreign visitors' total, and those spending more than HUF 30 billion in the first half also included those arriving from Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the United States.

Hungarian travellers stayed on average 3 days abroad in the second quarter, up 3.4% from one year earlier.

69.6% of the Hungarians travelling abroad in Q2 were one-day visitors, and 72.8% of them went on shopping tours. Tourism was the motive in the case of 16.8% one-day visits and in 86.8% of longer trips. Travelling to work made up 9.0% of one-day travels and 5.8% of several-day visits of Hungarians abroad.