Each year, final Tourism students have been invited to put their analytical skills and acquired course knowledge to use in practical investigation of a local tourism product. This year, the focus was on Szentendre, just a few kilometres up the Danube from IBS.
Four groups of students were each tasked with considering a different aspect of the destination. The composition and value of the Attraction, the means of Access to and within the location, the Accommodation (here especially focused on the Catering and Retail components) and the overall Attitude of the town to tourists, all required analysis to determine if Szentendre is indeed delivering on its promise as ‘The Town of Painters’.
In the remaining weeks of the semester, the task Groups will be discussing their findings and looking for comparable international cases to present as best practice examples, since the initial impression was one of disappointment over the quality and consistency of the tourism offering. Beginning with a spring in their step the students quickly came across some prime areas where maintenance has been sadly neglected. The groups also noted that Visitor Information should be improved with the help of signposting or having the QR codes at points of interest being linked to a current website. Whilst sections of the retail trade seemed loath to accept money from tourists (payment ONLY in HUF!), the catering side, especially at the refurbished Szamos Cukrászda got good marks following an intensive investigation.
Along with past Tourism groups, this year’s team has again demonstrated professional tourism development instincts that will stand them in good stead in their future careers and enable them to contribute effectively to the ‘World’s Largest Industry’.