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Budapest Takes Center Stage as Top Influencers Flock to the Hungarian Capital

Haley Kalil

Budapest is having a major moment on social media as the Hungarian Tourism Agency hosts its largest ever “influencer trip.” From May 22-24, a staggering 50 international influencers with a combined following of over 155 million on Instagram and 176 million on TikTok have descended on the city.

The Budapest Influencer Trip is part of the tourism agency’s spring campaign aimed at boosting peak season bookings by attracting travelers who may be difficult to reach through traditional marketing channels. The invited influencers hail from 14 countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy – key feeder markets for Hungarian tourism.

“We have never seen an influencer trip on such a scale in Europe,” said László Könnyid, CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency. He explained that this new form of marketing is crucial given how media consumption habits have radically shifted, especially among the 25-40 age demographic that the campaign is targeting.

This younger cohort tends to have more disposable income for travel but can be challenging to engage through conventional advertising. However, influencer marketing has proven highly effective at inspiring wanderlust and driving travel bookings among millennials and Gen Z. “Consumers widely accept influencer recommendations as authentic, including for tourism products and services,” noted Könnyid.

The decision-making process for travel can take months, often prompted by compelling content that sparks desire. With this intensive social media blitz showcasing Budapest’s most photogenic sights and experiences, the agency hopes to drive both short-term bookings for summer as well as building destination awareness for future trips.

In addition to the international influencers, over 100 domestic Hungarian content creators are also participating in the three-day event. The production itself is a major undertaking, with filming taking place across 47 locations over 8 days involving a crew of 84 people and 5 drones.

“Our goal is to promote Budapest and Hungary to a global audience through this campaign,” said Gergő Csiszár, founder of the influencer marketing agency Post For Rent, which is producing over 550 photos and videos spotlighting different aspects of the country. “The influencers we’ve invited are highly relevant in their home markets and industries.”

While luring more international visitors is the primary objective, the Hungarian Tourism Agency also aims to showcase Budapest as an exciting destination for local youth. “We expect the Budapest Influencer Trip to not only boost summer results but also have an impact in the autumn by driving visitation and building the city’s brand image,” Könnyid said.

With global travel rebounding and consumers inundated with choices, destination marketing has become fiercely competitive. By leveraging the powerful storytelling abilities of social media influencers, Budapest is betting big on this innovative campaign to inspire travelers and increase bookings from its most lucrative source markets.

Image source: facebook.com/haleyybaylee

Haley Kalil

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