The marketing activity of Magyar Turizmus Zrt.
(Hungarian Tourism Ltd., MT)
in the field of cultural tourism
The role of MT as the national tourist marketing organisation, is increasing the reputation and popularity of Hungary as a tourist destination, and marketing domestic tourism.
MT - following the concept of theme years renewed in 2006 - declared 2009 to be the Year of Cultural Tourism on the advice of tourist experts, based on Hungary's rich culture.
The main goal of the "theme year" was to pique the interest of Hungarian citizens in the cultural tourism available their country, to increase the number of visitor nights, to expand domestic tourism and thus increase tourism receipts. The campaign year can appeal to a wider cross-section of the population and seasonality also can be reduced. The campaign year primarily focuses on the domestic market, however cultural tourism is attractive for foreign tourists as well indeed this is one of the most important reasons for coming to Hungary. Therefore MT also places emphasis on advertising Hungary's cultural tourism possibilities abroad in 2009.
MT divides cultural tourism into five themes:
- Wine and gastronomy
- Living traditions
- Festivals, cultural events
- Modern culture, contemporary arts
During the "Year of Cultural Tourism" marketing appeared with its own logo and slogan, which nevertheless harmonised with the image generally used. At the beginning of the "theme year" MT introduced the image which unifies the various themes:
The domestic slogan of the campaign: See wonder at home!
To increase the number of visitor's nights throughout the year MT offers deals in accommodation fees (3 for 2, or 4 for 3) in co-operation with the service industry throughout the country. Besides assuring accommodation deals the industry was motivated to create packages including cultural offers.
The "patrons" of the Year of Cultural Tourism
During the Year of Cultural Tourism famous people publicised the attractions and events connected with the five pillars of cultural tourism to the public:
- For Wine and gastronomy: Konyári János - wine-maker
- For Festivals and cultural events: Novák Péter - musician, actor
- For Living traditions: Szalóki Ági - singer
- For Modern culture and contemporary arts: Szűcs Zoltán - choreographer, performer
- For Sightseeing: Török András - author of guidebooks
Marketing tools used:
- interactive website
- publications: general, but attractive publication introducing the "theme year", calendar of events, catalogue of offers, publications about castles and flyers for several events
- national program booklets published several times a year
- commercials and PR articles on the most popular TV channels, newspapers and placards,
- guerrilla marketing campaign at the beginning of the year,
- study tours inland and abroad,
- travel exhibitions,
- congresses and other professional programs,
Especially promoted parts of the "theme year":
- 26th February 2009. - Greedy Thursday: On the day after Ash Wednesday guests could eat for half price in 1,300 restaurants.
- 18th April 2009. - On the International Day for Monuments and Sites more than 200 special monuments and exhibition halls in the country opened their doors to visitors for free. Hotels and other accommodation joining the program offer reductions for visitors.
- 29th April 2009. - Wine Wednesday: following the success of Greedy Thursday, Wine Wednesday was also held for the first time this year. On this day restaurants joining the program offered Hungarian wine and champagne for half price, and a glass of wine was served as a gift with the main meal.
- 29th-31st May 2009. - Open Wine cellar Days: More than 150 winemakers served their products at a lower price or gave a free tasting for three days.
- 12th-13th June 2009. - Homecoming Weekend: similarly to the European Rural Tourism Action this week focused on introducing living traditions and rural life. It was held for the first time.
- 20th-28th June 2009. - Week of the Hungarian National Parks: During this week the national parks offered many programs and lower prices for visitors.
- 11th-16th August 2009. - "campaign island" in the Sziget (Island) Festival: MT's tent in the Village of Hungaricum was visited by some thousand festival goers. The creative and interactive games were very popular with them.
- 19th-20th September 2009. - Cultural Heritage Days: MT as a communication partner joined the program organized for years, and offered more hundred accommodation with lower prices.
- 17th-18th October 2009. - The Outdoors -Indoors Weekend: MT was a co-operative partner for this program of Architectural Month promoting guided tours of the most interesting new and newly renovated houses the visitors during the weekend, offering hundreds of reduced-price accommodation.
- 7th-8th November 2009. - Martinmas Goose-Tour: Throughout the country several programs for Martinmas welcomed visitors in the open-air museums and country houses. The event was popularised with outdoor games.
The Year of Cultural Tourism will be followed by the Year of Festivals "theme year," related strongly to the previous year, in 2010.