The shutdown caused by the pandemic has perhaps hit the areas of tourism, culture and various personal services the hardest: as demand has fallen, service providers were forced to close, resulting in mass layoffs.
From Budapest’s perspective, this is especially critical, as the city’s economy relies heavily on tourism. Simultaneously, the city’s diverse cultural and leisure life came to a halt, with theatres and museums being forced to temporarily close, causing insecurity for those working there. But at the same time, the crisis also offered us a rare opportunity: Budapest now has the chance to make long-overdue changes to deal with problems related to tourism, and to adopt new regulations.
Once the pandemic threat is over, the city needs to stimulate demand: to stimulate domestic and foreign tourism through a series of programs, events and actions, as well as the recovery of the cultural sector. With the restart, the public areas of the city are of special importance, where outdoor sports, culture or even gastronomical programs can take place. Special emphasis must be placed on sporting and physical activity opportunities, which contribute to preserving the health and recreation of city residents, and to the physical and mental recharge that is even more essential in times of crisis. In order to achieve the programs at the largest scale possible, it is also important to strengthen marketing activities, and various campaigns and discount packages must be implemented. The goal is to create a liveable and vibrant environment so that Budapest can be a diverse and secure city in the long run.