COVID-19 IN HUNGARY: Hungary’s Preparedness for a Viral Outbreak from the Outlook of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector

Árvai, Dániel Bence (2021) COVID-19 IN HUNGARY: Hungary’s Preparedness for a Viral Outbreak from the Outlook of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector. BA/BSc thesis, BCE, International Study Programs. Szabadon elérhető változat / Unrestricted version:

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Viral outbreaks and the economy have a long history in the world. From the Zika Virus to the Swine Flu epidemic, they have affected the GDP of countries in the most negative of ways. The most recent viral pandemic, COVID-19 emerged in 2020 and it may be the most destructive viral epidemic of the 21st century. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, emerged in January of 2020 in Wuhan, China, where it quickly spread to the rest of the world. The rapid transmission of this flu-like virus and the large death toll it left in its path made this a dangerous situation indeed. The virus quickly spread from Asia to Europe and North America, and governments were forced to place restrictions to stop the virus from spreading further. Governments came out with restrictions on movement not just international travel but local travel as well, initiating curfews and the closing of many shops and businesses. Hungary was one such country that took the virus very seriously with these restrictions, going so far as a complete shutdown of the country. Naturally, with businesses closed and travel dwindling, the industries of countries suffered, one such industry most hardly hit being the travel and hospitality industry, which rely heavily on international travel. Hungary is one country where the travel and hospitality industry contribute a large amount to the GDP of the country. employment in the tourism industry and how it has changed since the pandemic, the expenditure of foreign tourist as it adds value to the revenue generated by the tourism industry, and the change in the number of inbound trips to Hungary for pleasure and leisure. With these three indicators, I have come to some interesting conclusions to how the tourism industry has handled since the pandemic started. With this study, I hoped to find a solution to prevention of such an impact from a viral outbreak in the future on one of the Hungarian economy’s most valued industries. I have outlined several different methods that may be used to prevent such a large hit from occurring again. After careful analysis of the statistics and using graphs, I have seen that from the 2019 and 2020 year, the employment had a negative change of 8.5 percent, which in an industry relying on employees so heavily, is significant and can also cause problems when reopening once restrictions are lifted. The number of inbound flights to Hungary witnessed a drastic change of 74 percent in the early months of the restrictions being announced, and sadly has not grown back to its full strength of years previous. Tourism expenditures of foreign tourists dropped a major 84 percent in the second quarter from 2019 to 2020, which is a very hard hit to an industry which contributes immensely to the national GDP. In conclusion, the slowing of international travel and the closing down of businesses forced the economy of Hungary’s tourism and hospitality industries into a decline. However, I believe there are several different methods that can be implemented for the future to prevent another major hit to the tourism sector. Some policies and ideas include the introduction of vaccine passports to promote safe travel once again, government support in the form of subsidies and loan forgiveness programs, more integration of contactless options and virtual events for businesses to keep customers coming and holding higher standards of cleanliness. With these implementations I believe we can mitigate the effects of such a virus to prevent it from a large impact in the future. After studying the statistics and using economic theories to analyze them, a clear picture can be seen that the tourism industry must be protected when it is such a crucial contributor to GDP in the world, especially in Hungary. With the drastic negative impact that the pandemic had on travel, the tourism and hospitality sector will be large focus of changing for the better to keep profits from dropping again as it did in this past year. Of course, with this pandemic being so new, there are few studies or concrete statistics that the Coronavirus had on the industry. In the future, I hope that this paper may be used to spur thoughts about protection of the tourism industry in Hungary from potential future viral outbreaks, and that a second look when more information is available will occur that can help show more closely how the pandemic changed the tourism industry for the worse in 2020.

Item Type:BA/BSc thesis
Subjects:Commerce and tourism
Social welfare, insurance, health care
ID Code:13973
Specialisation:International Business Economics
Deposited On:04 Oct 2021 08:46
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 12:01

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