21 Nov Research of Memories on the recognition of “Hungaricums”
In cooperation with the professional personnel of the Marketing Institute of the Budapest Metropolitan University, the staff of the Memories of Hungary interviewed more than 500 foreign tourists in English on four sites in Budapest in 2016. The results of this project titled “The role of Hungaricums in the field of credibility and the preservation of values from the perspective of tourists visiting Hungary” have most recently been reported.
The research focused on the spontaneous knowledge and information of visitors in connection with Hungary as well as Hungaricums. As a result, it can be pinpointed that personal experiences matter the most as to the communication of Hungaricums and the values linked to Hungary. Reality perceived by tourists plays the most crucial role as to the recognition of Hungaricums. Knowledge related to handcrafted products, foods, raw materials and natural values is collected during their stay, so that tourists decode the national treasure of Hungary on the basis of their personal experiences.
Consequentially, we are strongly convinced that credible and high standard communication, which requires catering, cultural programs and gift shops to prefer high standard and real Hungarian values and product assortment, is of utmost relevance.
In addition to high standard folklore programs and real Hungarian restaurants, high quality gift shops are also part of the introduction to Hungarian culture, because gift shops selling Matryoshka dolls and machine embroidered “folk art” made in China to tourists may drive them to make the false conclusion. If the target is to promote Hungaricums widely, it is recommended to do so in combination of a high standard and interactive program assortment, because unilateral communication is simply not enough. We endeavor to reach the above goal.
The research above paved the way to drawing the following extrapolations among many:
- Results generated by spontaneous associations show that such associations primarily concentrate on values communicated by guides and featured programs in the first place. In addition, the messages of the promotion films (e.g.: baths, Hévíz, Lake Balaton) produced by Magyar Turizmus Zrt. have appeared, but further novel products (e.g.: Prezi, Gömböc) are still unknown as has been reported by the research.
- As regards such spontaneous associations connected with Hungary, the term of “Goulash” is still a predominant one. The building of the Hungarian Parliament reached a corresponding rate of reference (40%). In addition to “Goulash”, many other foods and beverages are represented on the list. According to traditions, paprika (16%), “pálinka” (Hungarian brandy) (9%) and “lángos” (flatbread) (4%) are still the best known Hungarian “brands”. Hungarian wines, including Tokaji, hit a surprisingly low (5% and 2% respectively) rate of recognition.
- Research covered a particular Hungaricum, namely the commemoration of the Revolution of ’56 that was an actual event in April 2016. The highest recognition was earned by the city of Budapest, the embankments of the Danube River and the Andrássy Boulevard and its vicinity. This, on the other hand, is not surprising, but the fact that data recording took place on the most frequently visited sites of Budapest and its result is still below 80% (77%) is surprising indeed. This was followed by classic Hungarian values, namely paprikas (55%; 42%) and “pálinka” (48%). Primarily gastronomical values, hence “kürtőskalács” (spit cake) (40%), soda water (41%), spritzer (33%), Unicum (33%), goose liver (32%), Tokaji Aszú (31%) and the sausage typical of Gyula (30%), claim the first place in the upper segment of the list.
- Further values, such as folk dance (30%), Hungarian “nóta” (popular songs) (33%), Hungarian operetta (38%), and footballer Ferenc Puskás (34%), are also known significantly. The recognition of potentially exclusive gifts is well beyond these foregoing rates. The recognition of porcelain produced in Herend and Zsolna hits a similar rate (26% and 24% respectively). As regards folk arts, Matyó embroidery and patterns are more known (24%), while the painting technique typical of Kalocsa (17%) as well as lacing typical of Halas (12%) is less known.