Published on : Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Over the years Budapest has turned into a hub of party tourism, attracting hard-partying tourist groups. It is often considered to be one of the continent’s most attractive party hot spots over the last 10 years. Cheap alcohol, low-cost flights and numerous bars and clubs of the party district often attracts young travellers especially from Western Europe. Majority of them only arrive at the venue for its vibrant party and see little or nothing of the city itself.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the tourism industry of the region to a standstill the city has decided to rethink tourism and is planning to leave behind its party tourism scene. It has been a while since resistance against excesses of party tourism began but the situation remained unchanged. But as the tourism industry restarts itself post the coronavirus pandemic, authorities will have an opportunity for regulating the situation. As the city has no tourist arrivals due to the virus outbreak, the party scene is set for redesigning.
District Mayor Peter Niedermuller said in a recent press statement that the present situation is an opportunity to make tourism more sustainable and to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. He also passed a set of strict measures to regulate party tourism starting September this year. According to the new regulations, all bars, restaurants and clubs in the area have been advised to close down at midnight. Any establishment that wishes to stay open for a longer period of time has been asked to take a special permit while maintaining various requirements.
Operators have to ensure that do not consume alcoholic beverages on the street. They will also have a refrain from serving drinks in plastic cups contrary to the previous practice. This move is likely to prevent guests from drinking on the street as well as reduce garbage. Bouncers have been advised to check compliance with the rules and instruct guests to behave properly. It would also be mandatory for bar operators to keep the streets clean in front of their establishments and make their toilets available to non-paying guests. Clubs will have to measure noise levels and their special permit will be withdrawn if the level exceeds the permitted limit.
The government has also suggested curbing the rapid spread of Airbnb apartments. Hospitality establishments have also been advised to stay open until after midnight if they stop selling alcohol after 10 P.M. Earlier this month the Hungarian Parliament also decided to take to take a harder line against short-term housing rentals. Landlords in Budapest will also have to register with the local authorities, who can also determine how many days a year an apartment can be rented to tourists similar to New York, Paris, Amsterdam and many other cities.
In addition to the strict requirements, Mayor Niedermuller also express that he wants to draw the tourists’ attention to the history and tradition of the party district. The neighbourhood where tourists have been partying until dawn also is home to Europe’s largest synagogue, a church and a memorial to victims of the Holocaust. However, any concrete measures for a fusion of party and cultural tourism have not yet been undertaken due to lack of funds.