As the international travel industry steadily progresses towards recovery while still grappling with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Hungary is seeing a shining light from the Middle East with visitors from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in 2022 set to be the best on record.
For Visit Hungary (VH), which is responsible for the international tourism development of Hungary, these Arab markets are of particular importance, therefore, it is launching a wide-scale communication campaign to promote the country’s attractions in the region.
As a current step, it has appointed AVIAREPS as its representative office in the Gulf Countries to further promote Hungary as an idyllic winter wonderland destination of culture, excitement and family fun for Middle East travelers.
Says Vitalij Izbriszov, Regional Head of Business Development, Visit Hungary: “We, at Visit Hungary, are constantly working on showing all the attractions Hungary can offer for the visitors of the Gulf Countries. The quick return and expansion of direct flight access from the region to Hungary, along with the positive momentum achieved through our many proactive activations carried out during Dubai Expo 2020, has thankfully contributed to this. As such the Middle East has become a key strategic market of focus for us going forward, and in order to further engage and develop the market we continue to strengthen our tourism relations in the region, and our cooperation with AVIAREPS is a great opportunity for this.”
Says Glenn Johnston, Vice President Middle East and Global Public Affairs, AVIAREPS: “We are honoured and excited to collaborate with Visit Hungary to promote the country’s exceptional tourism offerings here in the Middle East. From Hungary’s rejuvenating spas, exceptional cuisine, unique castle stays and picturesque land and cityscapes, Budapest and all the regions of Hungary have so much to offer Middle East travelers, that will both surprise and delight, and all at great value.”
To kick off the promotions, Budapest will be promoted as the ultimate winter wonderland getaway for Middle Eastern travellers this winter. With a focus on family fun, outdoor activities, culinary treats and special Instagramable moments, ssome of the top favorites include the Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market, the Vajdahunyad Castle Outdoor Ice-Skating Rink (Europe’s largest), the popular Budapest Thermal Baths, sledding in Normafa, visit to the nearby towns of Szentendre and Gödöllő, expereince some traditional Christmas shopping and the Nutcracker at the newly renovated Budapest Opera House (a local annual tradition) among many more.
Data from the Hungarian National Tourism Data Supply Centre (NTDSC) indicates that over 7,500 travellers from the UAE visited Hungary in the first 8 months of 2022 alone; a +90 per cent increase on the total number of 4,000 visitors who visited during the whole 12 months of 2021.
The news from Saudi Arabia is also positive, with 2,700 visitors from the Kingdom visiting Hungary within the first 8 months of 2022, which is almost on par with the previous best 12-month visitor total of 2,904 received in 2019. When the 8-month 2022 figures are compared to the 12-month 1,400 total number of Saudi visitors received in 2021, the increase of +88% along with other market indicators Saudi Arabia as a source traveler market is also set to have a record-breaking performance in 2022.