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Overtourism and the night-time economy: a case study of Budapest

Ivett Pinke-Sziva (Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary)
Melanie Smith (Institute for Sociology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary) (Department of Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality, Budapest Metropolitan University, Budapest, Hungary)
Gergely Olt (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary)
Zombor Berezvai (Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 7 March 2019

Issue publication date: 12 March 2019




The purpose of this paper is to analyse the phenomenon of overtourism with specific reference to the night-time economy (NTE) in Budapest, Hungary.


The research took place between September and December 2017 in the so-called “party quarter” of Budapest – District VII. The chosen methods included mapping, observation, interviews and questionnaires with local residents, visitors and tourists.


Partying opportunities are valued highly by tourists and the majority of customers in the bars are tourists. Many people feel that there are too many tourists in the area, although few had a bad experience with tourists. The most common complaints were the dirt and litter, public urination, street crime and noise. Most respondents would welcome a better cleaning service, more bins, more police, more public toilets and better street lighting.

Research limitations/implications

The research was not undertaken in the high season, older residents were slightly under-represented and wider research across the whole city would give a more balanced perspective.

Practical implications

Recommendations are made for managing the NTE better in order to improve the experience of tourists and visitors and to improve the local resident quality of life.

Social implications

It is hoped that this research may prompt local authorities to take local resident perceptions and experiences into account by creating better management measures and regulations.


This is the first paper to provide data from the perspective of three main stakeholder groups in the context of the NTE in Budapest.



Zombor Berezvai’s research was supported by the project “From Talent to Young Researcher project aimed at activities supporting the research career model in higher education”, identifier EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00007.


Pinke-Sziva, I., Smith, M., Olt, G. and Berezvai, Z. (2019), "Overtourism and the night-time economy: a case study of Budapest", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 1-16.



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Copyright © 2019, International Tourism Studies Association

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