Kovacs: Hunting, nature expo Hungary’s ‘most complex’ to date

This year's One with Nature World of Hunting and Nature Exhibition will be Hungary's most complex international event to date, giving the country a fresh chance to showcase its skills in organising large-scale events, the government commissioner responsible for organising the world exhibition, Zoltan Kovacs, said in an interview to the news portal Origo published on Wednesday.

Kovacs, who is also the state secretary for international relations and communications, said the event provided an excellent opportunity to relaunch conference and international exhibition tourism in Hungary.

Asked why the hunting exhibition had been derided by the left wing, Kovacs said the issue of hunting was being exploited by the opposition to create divisions in society and turn people against each other. Hungary’s 70,000 hunters come from all walks of life and subscribe to a wide range of political beliefs, and the event focuses on issues promoted by left-wing activists such as ecology and sustainability, he said, adding that politicising the event therefore made no sense.

As for its cost, the opposition’s charges that huge sums are being spent bear no scrutiny, he insisted. The budget for four venues, HUNGEXPO, Hatvan, Keszthely and Vasarosnameny and a series of events spanning several weeks, together with the European Equestrian Championships, will amount to the originally planned 17 billion forints (EUR 48m). The HUNGEXPO grounds have undergone a 55 billion forint upgrade linked to the world exhibition and future events of similar size and quality, Kovacs said. Moreover, there will be a return on the investment in the coming decades from rents and revenues, he added.

Fully 6 international conferences will be held during the 20 days of the world exhibition held from Sept. 25 to Oct. 14, he noted.

Fully 75,000sqm of HUNGEXPO’s space, including 8 exhibition halls, will be used. Exhibitions include the thousand-year history of Hungarian hunting as well as presentations on the wetlands of the Carpathian Basin and conservation organisations, he said.

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