Over-tourism | Budapest

The case study suggests that one of the most important driving force towards over tourism in Budapest is the possibility to have quality entertainment at a low cost in Europe. Especially its popular streets that host a number of ruin bars that are set up in abandoned residential and office buildings. While this can be partially true It cannot possibly be the sole reason.

“Why should I move out just because people come here for a few days to behave how they like”

The internet can significantly contribute to this sudden rise in tourism. From personal research, the city was found on numerous travel articles talking about “Places to visit in Europe” These tend to become checklists for travelers. Social media may also have a huge influential role to play here in the past few years. The locals are also generally polite and inviting and they most often can converse in English which is not very common in other major European tourist hot spots.

Over tourism does not necessarily have only a negative effect, for example in this case, the night-life in Budapest has started to play a positive role in creating a different image for the city away from being a former socialist city. An image that wouldn’t be easy to overcome otherwise.

The negative impacts are of course more in number. As nice and fun as the ruin bars sound to visit, the neighbourhood which is residential most of the time is not too great to live in. The fact that these restaurants and pubs are cheap for foriegners and expensive for Hungarians, leave few nationals actually using them. Some employees talk about how they miss making contact with their locals. But some of the most common worries were the dirt and litter, public urination and street crime.

It is evident that regardless of what we’ve grown to believe about popular tourist destinations in Europe, Post socialist cities seem to be suffering from similar impacts of tourism.

Reference | Overtourism and the night-time economy: a case study of Budapest | March 2019

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