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 5: Relationship of rest, recreation and tourism

Source: Hall−Page (2002)

Among the attractions, the rivers of Hungary are outstanding natural values, as they are suitable for water tours, while the Hungarian lakes are good for surfing, sailing and angling, making waters attractive for the specific target groups. The caves offer a special kind of tours, including cave tours in overalls and the visit of natural values, unique in the world, like the hydrothermal karst caves of the Buda Mountains or the Aggtelek karst cave (the latter is part of the world heritage).

A significant part of the international youth tourism is attracted by the destinations considered as “active tourism paradises”, the visit to which is an adventure in itself. Unfortunately, the main countries of origin no longer associate the image of “adventurous country” to Hungary, while the neighbouring Austria does its best to build up the “active tourism paradise” image. In a borderless Europe it is irrational that the neighbouring province of Burgenland wishes to become the cycling tourism centre of the Union and the adjacent Hungarian region of West Transdanubia does not follow the example. A large number of examples could be mentioned for many active tourism products where the Austrians use the opportunities and the same products are not even recognised on the other side of the “border” (active tourism in the mountains, along the Dráva and Mura Rivers etc.).

In the hilly and mountainous areas of Hungary hiking has a lot of possibilities, but this activity is usually only good for the attraction of the domestic youth, mostly in the form of one-day excursions. As an auxiliary product, rock climbing has a potential. A much larger interest is shown for some technical sports (e.g. mountain biking, off-road tours, quad tours, gliding etc.). The major part of the areas suitable for this activity is managed by the national parks, and they do not support (in fact, they prohibit) developments, because of its nature degrading impact. This makes it important to designate areas where – with certain limitations – such activities can be freely pursued.

The openness of mountainous environment to tourism has been evident for long; the development of tourism in mountains was based on the utilisation of different resources. The special natural areas with valuable landscape or ecology are not necessarily mountains. It is true though that mountains have traditionally been the least ruined medium, coming from their special features where the constituents of the physical environment appear in their most extreme forms (special climate, steep elevation, dense vegetation etc.). The number of those mountainous areas that abound in tourism products built on the exploitation of the above-mentioned resources is very low, and the majority of these can be found in the advanced countries, or they are “relatively nearby” mountains, usually on different development levels from the aspect of tourism. It is generally accepted by now that mountain tourism products can by and large be divided into the following groups:

– snow tourism (Alpine and northern skiing, and the versions of snowboard that have become popular recently);

– green tourism (including nature parks in the mountains and the visit to national parks);

– tourism related to mountain waters (lakes, rivers, reservoirs and medical health spas) such as whitewater rafting, angling, balneology; tourism based on historical-arts-cultural resources and traditions of the mountains; and adventure tourism.






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