Tourists in Budapest – Photo: wikipedia

Tourism agency: Domestic tourism restored after stoppage caused by coronavirus

Domestic tourism has been properly restored since the stoppage caused by coronavirus, while the return of international visitors to Hungary is slowly under way, the head of the Hungarian Tourism Agency said on Sunday.

Zoltan Guller told public Kossuth Radio that the summer season started with all freedoms restored in Hungary, giving the country at least a month to weeks’ head start over the rest of Europe.

He said the hospitality industry generated turnover of 110 billion forints in July, as against 87 billion forints in the same period last year.

The number of guest nights increased by 62 percent this June compared with last year and 5.5 million guest nights were spent in July, 17 percent more than the previous record high for the month, he added.

Guller said planned tourism developments had not been waylaid by the coronavirus pandemic, with an unprecedented sum of several hundred billion forints spent in the sector.

Some 150 billion forints have been allocated for applications to be invited for the development of spas in Hungary, he added.

In 2019, foreigners made up 93 percent of tourists in Budapest, he said, adding that it was an unsustainable model. The task of the government is to send the message to citizens in rural Hungary that it is worth visiting Budapest. The upcoming August 20th national holiday celebrations, the Pope’s planned visit in September and the hunting expo next year will serve as good opportunities, he added.

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