Tourism now accounts for a little over 10 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), and provides jobs for 400,000 people. Last year was the best of all time in tourism, and this year, too, is promising to deliver similar or even better results, the Prime Minister added.
Mr Orbán stressed that today Hungary is a strong country, and those who look upon it may see a country that is capable of achievements that point beyond its size. Ever more people are interested in the country and acknowledge it because there are young entrepreneurs who are successful, not only in Hungary, but also abroad, he said.
The Prime Minister took the view that an entrepreneur who is successful in tourism is necessarily a patriot as tourism is a form of living which also involves patriotism.
Mr Orbán said that thanks to the country’s economic achievements, Hungary has not only the freedom but also the strength to rebuild everything in tourism as well. Many in the sector also have experience from abroad which is “just as it should be”, the Prime Minister said. He encouraged young people working in the sector to go and gain experience, not forgetting that they have a home country to which they can return and where they can use their experience.
He also said that Hungary has found itself in the midst of the debates about the future of Europe where there are some who are pro-immigration, while others are opposed to immigration. With its independence Hungary wants to preserve its cultural heritage and way of life, he pointed out.
The attention Hungary is receiving has its drawbacks, but at the same time it is inducing ever more people to come here. This should be turned to our advantage, he said. If we are successful and strong, we will do well also in tourism, he indicated. According to Mr Orbán, it is worth supporting the sector and those working in tourism because the results confirm this. This year the government has provided record grants, and according to plans it will continue to do so also next year, he said.
The plan is to raise the sector’s contribution to GDP from 10 per cent today to 16 per cent by 2030. In addition to Budapest, every single corner of Hungary should be linked to the blood circulation of tourism, and we must further strengthen domestic tourism, Mr Orbán stressed. At the Tourism Summit 2018 conference, Hungary’s new country brand was introduced. Its slogan is: “Hungary is a source of inexhaustible wonders”.
Zoltán Guller, Chief Executive Officer of the Hungarian Tourism Agency said the Hungarian tourism development strategy which marked the directions for the development of the sector was introduced a year ago. The goal is to turn Hungary into one of Central Europe’s leading tourism destinations by 2030. The expansion of tourism has been continuous since 2010, and its rate is astounding, he underlined. The Chief Executive highlighted that, among the results achieved, they are proudest of the fact that as part of the Kisfaludy Programme two thirds of guest houses in the provinces have received grants, and as a result more than 700 accommodation facilities may be refurbished.
Hungary is wonderful, and this is something that imposes a task on the Hungarian people, he said, adding that it is the mission of the Hungarian people to introduce the country to one another and to the world. Next year’s summit will be about digital tourism solutions, Mr Guller said.
Dávid Farkas, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hungarian Tourism Agency said that the greatest challenge of the agency was the creation of a country brand as the country brand is required to express all the miracles of Hungary. Minimum 60 per cent of advertising is planned on online platforms, specifically targeting tourists so that the efficiency of advertising can be tracked and measured in bookings, he said.
In addition to direct advertisements, they also focus on thematic media appearances. The new logo, image film and image will be introduced in 13 countries by the end of January, and the global media partners – Expedia and National Geographic – will broadcast the campaign film more than 3,000 times. The country advertisements will feature in the magazines of major airlines, and will appear on 2,000 hoardings and platforms on public premises in six countries, he listed.