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


Figure 4: Active tourism in Hungary Source: Aubert A. (2007) 5. Environmental conditions of the operation of the market



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Figure 4: Active tourism in Hungary

Source: Aubert A. (2007)

5. Environmental conditions of the operation of the market

No comprehensive strategy has been made on active tourism by the tourism policymakers, but strategies for some areas have been written: cycling tourism and ecotourism (hiking). The Hungarian National Ecotourism Development Strategy says that authors are unhappy (because of the specific needs of ecotourism) about the fact that in the case of some ecotourism products, in calls for tenders “ecotourism has been treated together with active tourism in several cases” (ÖFS 2008). Nevertheless there is a need for the reconsideration of a comprehensive active tourism, and for the assessment and analysis of development possibilities.

The Hungarian National Tourism Development Strategy (NTDS) mentions as an example the marketing and tourism strategy of Austria, where active tourism is treated as a selected tourism product (it is true though that hiking and ski tourism has longer traditions in Austria).

The tourism development strategy considers active tourism as a selected tourism product for the young, when discussing youth tourism. By order of importance, “the form of active tourism which is most popular is hiking in nature, followed by cycling, water tourism and horse riding” (NTS 2010). The most popular active tourism pastime of the youth, according to the strategy, is visiting national parks and participation in walking tours and more spontaneous bicycle tours, but horse riding tours and equestrian camps are also very much interesting for the young.

When introducing the elements of supply and the macro-regions of tourism, the SWOT analysis of the strategy considers active tourism related to the rivers and lakes as an opportunity. One of the weaknesses mentioned by the strategy in this respect is the scarcity of accommodations in the vicinity of the attractions, the inadequate conditions of the reception of tourists and the deficient related services. “In accordance with the demand of the market, it is necessary to change the supply towards a higher quality category. In addition to the improvement of the quality, the range of services should also be expanded.”(NTS 2010)

The development strategy devotes a separate sub-chapter – in the chapter on traditions and manmade attractions – to equestrian tourism as an outstanding activity among the traditional attractions of Hungary. The problems listed include the lack of skills necessary to pursue equestrian tourism services, the low number of equestrian trainers, the deficient language skills and the inadequate stock of horses. “The level of horse riding culture is low (despite the positive image of this living in foreigners), and the designated riding trails are also missing.” (NTS 2010)

The tourism development strategy summarises the things to be dome in connection with the respective tourism products as follows:

– In cycling tourism the connections to the international bicycle route networks must be created, while at the bicycle roads already built the adequate level of services and maintenance of the roads must be achieved.

As regards hiking in nature, the strategy mentions the development of water tourism and cycling tourism, urging them to cooperate with the non-for-profit and non-governmental organisations involved in hiking. The strategy also calls in the field of youth tourism for the implementation of good service supply and information services.

– In the field of water tourism, the document says it is important to improve the quality of sailing tourism on the lakes of Hungary, by the provision of adequate ports and services. In order to increase the traffic on water, the Danube River must be made more easily navigable, and more attention must be paid at the rivers of Hungary to the creation of the conditions of motor boat and paddle tourism.

– Golf tourism should primarily be developed by private capital, the objective of the strategy is the minimisation of the environmental stress, and it also states that the number of golf courses should only be increased within reasonable limits.

In the National Regional Development Concept of Hungary, the development of active tourism is recommended for the alleviation of the serious handicaps of the Great Plain areas dominated by scattered farms. The concept also mentions the creation of the conditions of tourism to rural areas and of active tourism, and the harmonisation of the development possibilities.

In the youth tourism development programme, the segment of young travellers is associated with active tourism in the first place. According to the development programme, sport programmes and active tourism supply play important role in the development of the youth. The programme says it is the youth that is the “best” generation on the basis of their health conditions to pursue active tourism activities.

5.1. Features of the environmental elements

As regards the features of the elements of the environment, we can say that active tourism (as a tourism product) is built on the characteristics of the natural environment in the first place. Hungary boasts of a large number of active tourism products competitive on the international market. The versatility of the contents of tourism products and an effective marketing activity are the tools that will make active tourists visit Hungary for a longer stay.






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