HTA BUSINESS TOURISM TREND REPORT: Budapest, Hajdúszoboszló and Eger were the most popular destinations in October 2020

As the National Tourism Data Supply Centre (NTDSC) operated by the Hungarian Tourism Agency (HTA) receives statistical data on a daily basis not only from commercial accommodation providers, but also from the entire service sector including other and private accommodation, the NTDSC data can be used to provide a much more detailed picture of a given month, but also of shorter periods emphasised by the tourism branch. Thanks to the autumn break, October is a time for those bringing up children of nursery school or school age to relax for a short while, as well as to take the opportunity to visit family or remember departed loved ones. The majority of travellers in this month set out in the company of others, and most stayed in hotels or private and other types of accommodation outside of Budapest. So to what extent has home become the new abroad? Although October’s guest numbers in Budapest were only 10% of last year’s figures, the capital remained the destination of choice for Hungarians (just as for foreigners last year), followed by Hajdúszoboszló and Eger.


October 2020

Lasting until the end of October, the HTA’s campaign series was to advertise the active tourism on offer in Hungary, the country’s unique natural wonders and what to do in the cities, as well as to popularise the architectural heritage and cultural treasures of this country. The purpose of the campaign was to showcase the great experiences that Hungary has to offer in order to promote the extension of the tourist season. The series started off by presenting what is on offer for tourists in the autumn by Lake Balaton, then concurrently with this a campaign was launched to popularise and promote discovering Hungary as a whole.

The increase in traffic in the autumn break lasting from 23 October to 1 November also helped contribute to the fact that a total of 627 thousand guests stayed in Hungarian accommodation in the October of 2020, 591 thousand of which were from Hungary. The accommodation venues registered a total of 1.6 million guest nights, 1.4 million of which were spent by Hungarians. The number of domestic guest nights in October amounted to 87% of last year’s figure. 91% of all guests in the tenth month travelled to provincial accommodation locations, where they spent a total of 1.4 million nights. 96% of the guests staying in the provinces were domestic, making up for 92% of the provincial guest nights.

As in September, hotels were once again the most popular type of provincial accommodation, with guests spending almost half the nights (49%) in hotels, another 33% being spent at other and private forms of accommodation, 10% in guesthouses and 4% in community accommodation.


Nationwide overview

Besides Balaton, where 19% of all domestic guest nights were spent last month, Hungarian guests most favoured the Eger region (14%), Greater Budapest (8%) and Budapest itself (9%). Budapest remained the most popular destination for foreigners: 33% (84 thousand) of all nights spent by foreign tourists were in the capital city. This was followed in popularity by the Greater Budapest (7%) and Debrecen and surroundings (7%), based on the foreign guest night numbers.

Under the terms of operative legislation, only citizens of the Visegrád Four countries were allowed to visit Hungary as tourists. However, citizens of other countries could cross the border for verified business, study or health-care purposes, so it is possible that based on the October guest night data, most foreigners came from Ukraine, Germany, Romania, South Korea and Austria.

Leglátogatottabb település

Of the 1.6 million nights spent by visitors in October, 34% were spent in the 10 most popular locations.

Based on the number of nights spent last month, Budapest was followed by Hajdúszoboszló, Eger, Miskolc and Gyula. The TOP 10 locations also include Balatonfüred, Szeged, Hévíz, Zalakaros and Debrecen. Nights spent by domestic tourists dominated in all of the cities examined (80% on average); foreign tourists spent the most nights in Budapest, Debrecen and Szeged.



Due in part to the HTA autumn campaign, Balaton was still the most popular tourist region in October. 17% of all the nights spent by visitors in the country in October are represented here. 112 thousand guests used the services of accommodation providers in the Balaton region in the tenth month, spending a total of 274 thousand nights there. 63% of the guests chose accommodation in hotels, 27% in other and private accommodation, and 6% in guesthouses. Domestic guests continued to dominate the region in the past month: 97% of nights were spent by Hungarians. The locations most favoured by Hungarian guests in decreasing order of the numbers of nights spent there, were Balatonfüred, Zalakaros, Hévíz, Siófok and Veszprém.



53 thousand guests visited Budapest in October, registering data on 212 thousand guest nights in the NTDSC, 44% of which were spent in hotels. A further 36% were spent in other and private forms of accommodation in Budapest, and 17% were spent in community accommodation. 

As in September, the number of Hungarian tourists in October exceeded the number of foreigners in Budapest, which is mostly frequented by foreigners. 77% of all travellers to Budapest were from Hungary, accounting for 60% of the nights spent.

Vendégek száma Budapesten


Autumn break 

Over the nine nights of the autumn break from 23 October to 1 November, a total of 267 thousand guests spent the night somewhere in the county, which accounts for 43% of the total for the month. Of the tourist regions, most guests visited Balaton (48 thousand, or 18%), 40 thousand (15%) visited the Eger region, and 21 thousand (8%) decided to visit Greater Budapest (8%). 39% of the total of 1.6 million guest nights spent in the month of October, equal to 618 thousand nights, were registered during the autumn break, making it clear that more people set out to explore the country then than in earlier parts of the month.

After Budapest, the towns of Eger, Hajdúszoboszló, Miskolc and Gyula enjoyed the greatest popularity.

Vendégéjszakák száma

The average age of guests staying in accommodation during the autumn break was 36. This is lower than in the preceding weeks of October, when the average age was 41 years old. This drop in value is due in part to the fact that, making use of the school break, more families with children opted to visit various regions of the country. The highest average age of 39 was recorded for guests visiting the Gyula region, the lowest being 34 for visitors to the Eger region, as well as in the Tokaj and Nyíregyháza regions.

The number of guests per room was higher during the autumn break than in earlier weeks of October, which is another sign that more families with greater numbers of children chose to spend their free time staying in accommodation in various parts of the country.


Long weekends

This year, almost all state and ecclesiastical holidays were linked with long weekends, ending up as a total of five occasions when the weekend was extended by one or two days: Easter, 1 May, Pentecost, and one each in August and October. As the stay-at-home rules were still in force for the long weekends in April and at the beginning of May, the guest number data were very low, with only 10 and 11 thousand guests respectively staying at accommodation venues in Hungary on those days.

Hosszú hétvégék

After the restrictions were lifted, the Pentecost long weekend was the first when domestic tourism was able to pick up before the start of the summer season. 75 thousand guests spent the night at Hungarian accommodation locations over the three days of the long Pentecost weekend in late May, the figure being 346 thousand for the 20 August long weekend and 148 thousand for the 23 October long weekend; 94% of October guests were from Hungary.

Hotels were the most popular form of accommodation over the October long weekend, with more than half of the guests choosing this option. These were followed by other and private accommodation at 33%, then guesthouses with 10%. Compared with other long weekends this year, the share of other and private accommodation was the lowest in October, which reflects the strongly seasonal nature of this type of service. Their share of the guests was more than 40% on the other long weekends, even exceeding 50% on 1 May.

The effects of the summer season are also apparent in the regional distribution of guests over the long weekends. Over the 20 August weekend, the most guests visited Balaton (39%), followed by the tourist regions of Debrecen and surroundings (7%) and the Eger region (7%). The share enjoyed by Balaton over the 23 October weekend, however, dropped to 20% and that of the Eger region increased to 14% with regard to the distribution of guest numbers, Greater Budapest ending up as the third most popular region. In spring, the Pentecost long weekend showed similar percentages in the distribution of guests as in October, the three most popular destinations being the same as on the 23 October weekend.


Cumulative data for January-October 2020

The aggregated data for the first ten months of the current year show that a total of 7.7 million guests stayed for a total of 21.5 million nights in Hungarian accommodation, 78% of guests being domestic. Hotels registered 3.7 million guests and 9.0 million guest nights. Based on the aggregated data, 1.2 million guests had spent the night in Budapest accommodation venues for a total of 3.4 million nights by the end of October. In the first ten months of the year, 6.5 million guests stayed at accommodation outside of Budapest, spending a total of 18.1 million nights. During the whole period, 87% of all guests were Hungarian in locations outside of Budapest, the ratio being reversed in the capital, where 70% were guests from abroad.

Turisztikai trendriport

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HTA BUSINESS TOURISM TREND REPORT: Budapest, Hajdúszoboszló and Eger were the most popular destinations in October 2020

As the National Tourism Data Supply Centre (NTDSC) operated by the Hungarian Tourism Agency (HTA) receives statistical data on a daily basis not only from commercial accommodation providers, but also from the entire service sector including other and private accommodation, the NTDSC data can be used to provide a much more detailed picture of a given month, but also of shorter periods emphasised by the tourism branch.