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: Motivations of active tourism

Ed.: Csapó, J. 2010

When discussing active tourism in Hungary, we must not neglect the surveys made by Sonda Ipsos in 2000 and the Hungarian Tourism Inc. in 2005. The former was published in the periodical named Turizmus Bulletin (Tourism Bulletin) in an article called “Opinion of the adult population on the active holidaymaking and cultural activities”, the latter in another article in the same periodical, by Vizi, I. (2005) under the heading “Preferences of the Hungarian population for active tourism, and the intensity of active tourism forms”. The two surveys provide an interesting basis for analysis, also due to the time span between them, as such a long duration allows the detection of potential changes at the consumers and in their habits.

The 2005 survey revealed that respondents were primarily interested in hiking in nature, excursions, bicycle tours and water sports, although we have to remark that the evaluation method applied during the research operated with a 1 to 5 scale and the average score of the responses just passed 3, which marks a relatively neutral preference. The research thus made it clear that respondents are not particularly motivated by active recreation, as golf and hunting were more often rejected than seen as neutral.

There were demonstrable differences between the sexes as regards the responses: women are more interested in horse riding, bicycle tours and hiking, whereas men showed a somewhat higher preference for golf, angling, hunting and skiing.

The very low level of interest in active tourism is also demonstrated by Table 2 showing the travel motivations of foreign and domestic tourists in Hungary. Among the motivations analysed, city sightseeing and camping may be taken as active tourism, and it seems that the “remaining” motivations can be detected in only 3.7% of other tourism activities.

Table 2: Motivations of foreign and domestic tourists

Holiday, recreation



City sightseeing



Health tourism



Events tourism



School study tour, camp



Visiting relatives






Business tourism



Other tourism activities



Non-tourism activities



Source: Magyar Turizmus Zrt. 2006, HCSO

From marketing aspects, the target groups of active tourism in Hungary are as follows:

1.      Hiking in nature: all social layers, but most typically those aged 40-49, with secondary and tertiary education.

2.      Cycling tourism: all social layers, mostly those under 50, diploma holders and village dwellers.

3.      Water tourism: young, aged 40-49, males, with secondary and tertiary education, mostly from the capital city.

4. Operation of the market of active tourism products, trends

4.1. An international outlook

From the 20th century on, parallel to the growing popularity of active tourism, spaces to be explored expanded; the zone of seeking active tourism adventures now practically covers the whole of Planet Earth. The field of international active tourism is now not so much the interesting of beautiful elements of the natural environment, it is much more the extreme elements that are sought: desert tours, extreme mountain climbing, extreme mountain sports, areas around or beyond the polar circle, and deep sea zones.

If we want to look at the spatial concentration of active tourism in an international outlook, we find difficulty in selecting major countries or destinations, because, as we have already mentioned, any point of the planet may be a suitable areas for pursuing active tourism. Still there are a few countries where physical exercises and the related active tourism activities have been part of the everyday life for a longer time, on the one hand, and the natural environment is excellent for servicing the active tourism products, on the other hand.

In Europe these countries are the Alpine countries (but not only because of the Alps): Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Italy, France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, the British Isles; in America it is mainly the United States where active tourism has a significant proportion within tourism activities, and also has traditions.

4.2. Active tourism in Hungary

One of the most significant areas of active tourism in Hungary is equestrian tourism, because horse riding has ancient traditions in Hungary. A number of places are available for dressage riding, horse jumping and field riding; also, there are many equestrian schools and equestrian facilities. Since 2000 a qualification system for equestrian tourism has ben operated by the Hungarian Equestrian Tourism Association. A total of 375 facilities have been qualified so far, from which more than 170 have received a qualification ranging from 1 to 5 ‘horse shoes’.

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