HUNGARIAN WINE SECTOR’S BOOM DURING COVID-19
Despite rattling wine markets in lots of countries worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has in fact benefited the wine sector in Hungary, specifically boosting both Hungary’s enotourism and wine exports. In order to increase wine tourism growth, in 2019 the Hungarian Tourism Agency was tasked to build a travel website ‘bor.hu’ (translates into wine.hu) to inspire and attract domestic and international visitors to Hungary’s wine producing regions. However, the pandemic accomplished this goal with just internal wine tourism, which in fact exceeded 2019 statistical data. With closed borders during lockdown, Hungarian holidaymakers were left with no choice but to vacation within their own country, and immerse themselves in the world of Hungarian wine and cuisine. According to Lounge Group Media Agency and the Hungarian Tourism Agency, Balaton, Badacsony, Tokaj, Villány, Szekszárd were among tourists’ favorites during wine harvest season. Moreover, statistics show that during 2020, Hungarian wine exports increased by 43% compared to 2019 data, with Germany taking the lead for massive bulk wine imports to all Lidl discount supermarket chains throughout the European Union, followed by Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Additionally, export value increased by 20% with most quality wine bottles sold in the UK. Overall, according to the National Council of the Wine Communities, most export markets for Hungarian bulk wine and quality wine have increased exponentially. Therefore, despite a global wine trade decrease during the Covid-19 epidemic, Hungary has managed to keep its status of a fast-growing wine exporter mainly through bulk wine products, specifically bag-in-box wines larger than 2 liters. As such, Hungarian bulk export quantity grew to 156.4 times more than in 2019.