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

Table 7: National priorities of tourism product development (the most important first)

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Table 7: National priorities of tourism product development (the most important first)

1.      Health tourism

2.      Heritage tourism

3.      Congress tourism

Source: Hungarian Tourism Development Strategy (2005–2013)  

In the case of congress tourism, the aim is to improve the attractiveness of Hungary as a conference tourism destination and to increase the number of international events held in Hungary, to strengthen the position of Hungary on the international congress market even among the increasingly strengthening competitors.

To achieve this,

-          Budapest must be enabled to host events with several thousands of participants;

-          organized, state supported lobby activity must be carried out to win international congresses;

-          congress venues of the capital city and countryside destinations must be successfully marketed on the international market.  

Also the marketing plan 2010 of the Hungarian Tourism Inc. deals with MICE tourism. It sets as a main task to help its new partners, the locations that meet international capacity standards, and also the conference centres in the countryside, to enter the market. The Hungarian Congress Office organizes several projects in Hungary to increase the popularity of domestic service providers. The target groups of these actions are partly the MICE tourism professionals, partly the domestic large and medium sized companies.  

6. The effects of MICE tourism, synergy effect

6.1. The effects of MICE tourism

MICE tourism plays a partial role in the shaping of many other national economy branches (transport, communications, trade, financial services, health-, culture- and sport related services), while it only indirectly demands products and services of other sectors (agriculture, industry, construction industry, and environmental protection).  

Participants of MICE tourism are leading representatives of their field of profession, thus MICE tourism also enhances the development of local science and the establishment of professional relations. The opinion forming effect of the participants is significant, and the message mediated by the competent members of different professional groups, scientific and business networks plays a significant role in creating positive country image. MICE tourism is suitable for extending peak season and it also has a considerable tax-generator and job-creator effect. The spending of a foreign MICE tourist in Hungary is twice as much as that of a leisure tourist. Also CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is increasingly seen by the organization of conference programmes, the essence of which is that the participants and the organization mark the location and support the local society. Based on research results, following a business trip, 40% of the participants return to the destination as leisure tourists.

6.2. Cooperation with other tourism products

The services of MICE tourism are based on leisure services, and they are complemented with the special service demand of the different MICE types. In addition to these, MICE tourism gets in connection with different tourism products as well.  

Health tourism

Throughout the years, the approximation of MICE tourism ­– mainly conference tourism – and health tourism can be observed on the international market. High category hotels realized that the demand of business guests and that of conference participants for health conservation and relaxation after official programmes was increasing. Just a few years ago, the presence of wellness services meant a competitive advantage, but today these services are regarded as basic criteria. Wellness cures can appropriately complement official programmes; the demand for prevention is strongly realized in tourism segments which can also be seen as target groups of conference tourism. Thermal water reserves, bathing culture and high quality wellness services of Hungary can be unique complementaries of different conferences, congresses.

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