Design and development of touristic products Main author: Gábor Michalkó Szilvia Boros, János Csapó, Éva Happ, Pál Horváth, Anikó Husz, Mónika Jónás-Beri, Katalin Lőrinc, Andrea Máté, Gábor Michalkó, Erzsébet Printz-Markó, Krisztina Priszinger, Tamara

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Figure 2: Major equestrian and hiking trails of Hungary

Source: Aubert, A. 2007

Water tourism is another major branch of active tourism in Hungary. Hungary has an extended system of rivers and still waters, approximately 3,500 kilometres of waterways serve the needs of tourists, but infrastructure is not adequately built out in the environment of those lakes and rivers which are otherwise suitable for water tourism. Water tourism is usually pursued by those tourists who are most fond of unspoilt nature. We can see a development in this field too in recent years, as many settlements have well-equipped water tourism facilities by now.

When looking at water sports, we must not neglect those water sports and active tourism forms for which winter is suitable, because no matter how evident the summer seasonal character of water tourism we think to be, waters are relatively frequently visited in wintertime too. Such active winter tourism types are skating, ice hockey, curling and “Fakutya” skating (typical on Lake Balaton mostly), as well as ice surfing and kitewing.

Figure 3: Major ports and angling facilities of Hungary

Source: Aubert, A. 2007

Golf as a sport and leisure time activity is also part of active tourism, and has more than 15 years of tradition in Hungary. The Hungarian golf competition courses have been created in accordance with the international standards, so they are suitable for the organisation of international competitions. Hungary has 14 golf clubs, e.g. in Kisoroszi, Hencse (Hencse National Golf & Country Club), Máriavölgy, Szentlőrinc, Pécs, Alcsútdoboz, Tata, and Bük. These include 6, 9 and 18 hole courses, courses in hilly and mountainous areas and also in wetlands.

A form of tourism also popular in Hungary is hiking in nature, the most visited areas are the hiking trails in the national parks, but walking is also important. Hungary has a total of 11,000 kilometres of designated hiking paths, of which 2,500 kilometres are of national significance. These hiking paths make a national blue circle (Hungarian Blue Hiking Trail). The national hiking paths of Hungary are integrated by the European society of hikers into the long haul hiking trails of Europe (E3, E4, E7).

The main motivation of hunting tourism is the observation of the game, its killing, its respect and protection. The main fields of hunting tourism in Hungary are the mountains and hilly areas, but the Great Hungarian Plain is also suitable for hunting tourism activities. Most popular hunting resorts are the Somogy Hills, the Zala Hills, Gemenc, Bakony, Danube Bend, Mátra and Bükk.

In the case of hiking, the interest in the activity goes together with actually doing it; this is followed by cycling tourism. The opportunities of water sports are relatively limited in Hungary, they are seasonal, and this is the reason why only 15% of those interested in water tourism actually pursue water tourism activities. As regards horse riding and golf, the regular or occasional pursuing of the activity is limited by the costs incurred. The income positions of the inhabitants allow hiking in the first place, both in the case of foreign and domestic trips. A major difference between the domestic and foreign destinations can be seen in the choice of water sport fans. Because the waters of Hungary are less suitable for certain water sport activities, the demand for seaside resorts has significantly increased, as opposed to the domestic destinations.

The basic destinations of active tourism in Hungary are featured in the map below. It is clear that Hungarian active tourism (too) is basically connected to mountain areas and bathing complexes (aquaparks).

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