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 6: Major scenes of adventure tourism, especially mountains

Source: Hudson (2003)

Among the characteristics of the economic environment we have to mention that among all tourism products, the largest investments in relation to incomes were realised in extreme sports, equestrian tourism, water tourism and cycling tourism. As these are the tourism activities generating the largest incomes in Hungary, they will have to enjoy priority in future developments (in the active tourism strategy to be made).

As regards the special features of the social environment, this tourism product is the best for active movement and a healthy way of living. In the field of health indices (life expectancy, heart and vascular diseases etc.) Hungary has always had one of the worst positions in the European Union (and also at international level) – many health problems could be prevented by the development of active tourism as the marketing of active tourism as a way of life.

A regards technological environment, the accessibility of the arenas of active tourism could be improved by the expansion and more flexible organisation of travel services. The National Tourism Development Strategy also mentioned the scarcity of accommodations near the attractions, the low level of reception conditions, the deficiencies of the related services; infrastructure must be developed in some way. The improvement of accessibility could be greatly promoted by the establishment of new vehicle parking facilities, if necessary, transfer buses or other transport means could operate between the parking places and the scenes of active tourism.

6. Cooperation with other products, synergy effects

The development of active tourism has an improving judgement within tourism development in the recent years, because the health conditions of the Hungarian society has reached the critical level. The appearance of active tourists and the development of this tourism product would lead to a bigger attraction of Hungary, thus it would also promote more backward regions and rural development.

Active tourism has a basic system of relations to rural tourism, youth, health and sports tourism, provided that sport tourism pursued by professional sportsmen are excluded from the tourism products of active tourism.

Looking at the respective tourism products individually, however, there may be cooperations and synergy effects with other products:

– In the first place we can say that equestrian tourism is one of the most infrastructure active tourism products of Hungary, which maintains considerable relations to event tourism, besides sport tourism and rural tourism. Products of outstanding significance are the horsemen shows (“Puszta Five” or “Puszta Ten” shows, equestrian shows reminding of the conquering Hungarian tribes etc.), and the annually organised National Gallop.

– In cycling tourism, attraction is the landscape itself, together with the infrastructure: bicycle roads, built-out resting places and photograph spots. Of course most links can be found here again to rural tourism and sport tourism, but the significance of urban tourism is much larger (in many places cycling tourism has already become part of the urban tourism), together with cultural and heritage tourism (bicycle roads touch and also connect the elements of the attraction of the tourism product) and youth tourism (which has preference for using this means of transportation).

– Natural tourism as part of hiking in nature involves all those tourists who are motivated to travel by the natural environment. Natural tourism means hiking, excursions, mountain climbing, observation of the fauna and flora, nature photography, angling, fishing, sailing, ski running and the visits to national parks, and also ecotourism. Especially for youth tourism (and for youth as a selected target group) it is necessary to have an adequate supply of programmes and information services. In hiking in nature, its relation to health tourism and event tourism may lead to a synergy effect.

– Water tourism is usually mentioned together with the following types of tourism: youth tourism, because most of the participants are in the school age; sport tourism, because this in an active form of leisure time recreation; and rural tourism, because it is usually done at rural settlements (or smaller towns).

– Golf tourism has most of its relations to health tourism, within that to wellness tourism. Separate wellness hotels are built for the participants of golf tourism. A similar parallel can be drawn in Western Europe between ski tourism and wellness tourism – unfortunately ski tourism is not a selected product within active tourism product in Hungary.

– In the category “other”, Gábor Michalkó put extreme sports. Extreme sports (bungee jumping, trekking, rafting, mountain biking, outdoor etc.) can be done in many places in Hungary, but this product is concentrated in adventure parks, so it cooperates (among other things) with the theme park sector.

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