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Sziget festival brings tourist boom to Budapest

Sziget festival brings tourist boom to Budapest
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Around 400,000 festival fans from 70 countries are in the Hungarian capital for the annual Sziget Festival providing a boost to the tourist industry.

It has grown from a small local event on the island of Sziget on the Danube to one of Europe’s largest multicultural events.

To the background of the sounds of the international music bands is the ringing of cash tills and it’s not just commerce on the island which benefits from the week-long event.

“There’s definitely a lot of things going on in the Sziget festival, but you really should get out into the city as well, because, it is so close, a convenient distance, and it’s an amazing city, so beautiful,” said one visitor from Australia.

City centre bars are packed and if a tent on the island is not for you there has been a boom in the market of Airbnb with a choice of 8,000 apartments in the country.

Research by internet site Trivago points to the cost of accommodation rising 15 percent during Sziget.

“This place went well before but in the last few days something has started and mainly because of Sziget. Many people arrived here and checked in even before the festival started,” said bar manager Szabolcs Szigeti.

The festival is a commercial magnet and the ripples from the island on the Danube break on the shores of Budapest where businesses have learned to live side by side as euronews correspondent in Budapest Andrea Hajagos explained.

“The pub owners here haven’t been heard to complain much in the last few years that Sziget is bad for business taking customers away. Instead many of them are enjoying the benefits of the event.”