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 1: St- Martin’s Route in Szombathely

Source: (2010)

2. Wine and gastronomy routes

They are theme routes that can be taken as parts of the cultural routes, with the objective to introduce the traditions of local gastronomy culture.

– Gastronomy (Plums Route, Route of summer pastures)

– The world of production and work (Horseradish Route, Watermills Route from Velem to Röjtökmuzsaj)

– Wine routes (Tokaj-Hegyalja wine route, Eger wine route)

Wine and gastronomy routes have special demands as regards infrastructure and suprastructure. Although catering is possible on the spot, organisers have to provide travel and accommodation for the guest of such theme routes, because of the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

3. Nature routes

Natural attractions are connected by green routes all over Europe (Danube-Ipoly Green route), but they also include routes demonstrating prehistoric habitats (Ipolytarnóc Route), geotourism routes demonstrating geological and geomorphologic values, and also built-out hiking paths that are usually named after the colour of the signalling. A characteristic feature of these routes is that travelling in the nature routes often leads to the growing popularity of walking and cycling. At the establishment of the infrastructure and suprastructure thus these needs must be taken into consideration, which is especially important in connection with cycling tourism (cycling hotels, bicycle repair shops etc.).

10.2. Characteristics of the demand

Theme routes set as a goal the persuasion of several target groups, i.e. they offer adventures to everyone, irrespective of their age, gender, interests and income positions.

Primary and secondary school students usually have access to the attraction elements of theme routes as a supplement of their studies, during class excursions and tour competitions. For this generation an objective is teach and play, as gathering information is the most simple for them with playful methods. Another important aspect in their case is the maintenance of the interest and the provision of an opportunity of exploration, as their interests cover a broad range of topics at this age. In the framework of youth tourism it is pupils and students who can be most easily persuaded to visit nature routes and participate in cultural and heritage tourism.

The task of the teachers is to organise quality programmes. For teachers who find recreation and good atmosphere as important as learning, a route can be a tool of teach and play. Teachers are interested in gaining knowledge, so they can be most easily persuaded to visit cultural routes.

For families with children it is important to explore cultural heritage, their main motivation is the creation of quality entertainment. Most attractive for them are chateau routes, castle routes, art history routes and theme routes related to famous persons.

Young adult intellectuals are most curious about novelties and new types of attractions; they seem to follow the latest tendencies, so they seem to be most interested in film tourism routes.

Explorers always search new things during their excursions, of decisive importance for them are individual and unique things, the route for them carries the message ‘I’ve got to see this’. According to surveys, they visit geotourism routes.

Hikers and excursionists usually choose a route on the basis of some idea or topic; they are interested in one particular topic. Their interest is matched both by nature and cultural routes, but they prefer to manage the route on foot or by bicycle.

Those interested in spiritual things are open to different religious disciplines, philosophies and psychology, and their primary range of interest is in accordance with this. They are happy to participate in pilgrimages or other religious history tours (European Route of the Jewish Heritage).

Academic researchers can be museologists, university lecturers or maybe college students for whom the auxiliary information and details may also be important.

The group of those who have left the country knows that their ancestors lived in this region, so for them it is important to find their roots, a slogan form them is “Hungarian blood in running in my veins”. They participate in VFR tourism (visiting friends and relatives) and make a large target group of theme routes. They can be approached not by the mediating sector in the first place but by the families receiving them.

As regard pensioners, their interest lies in their environment and history, so the message of the route for this target group is ‘I want to get here, I want to see this once in my life’.

When looking at the school education of the participants, it is striking that theme routes are most popular among those with secondary and even more so with higher education schooling.

11. Trends in Europe and Hungary

Hungary, as a member state of the European Union, adapts to the European trends, and the theme routes created in Hungary are eligible for the support of the Union (regional operational programmes, Interreg tenders etc.) just like in other member states. The Hungarian theme routes would also like to be admitted the list of the Council of Europe (and the routes of the world heritage) which includes both natural and cultural routes. Following the latest trends, in Hungary too geotourism routes were founded (in addition to the already approved Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark, the tender of the Bakony-Balaton route is going to be submitted soon). The number of geotourism routes in Europe has come close to forty (e.g. Vulkaneifel European Geopark in Germany). Hungary is lagging behind in the field of film tourism, although the number of their visitors is increasing (e.g. the Harry Potter route in Great Britain), and Budapest (the inner city, or the Korda studio in Etyek) has excellent conditions for the implementation. A European trend is the making of so-called movie map, in travel guides film tourism routes are signed (with their GPS coordinates), and now even the maps and flyers indicate the most famous theme routes and give a brief description of them (unfortunately in Hungary there are very few such initiatives for the time being).

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