The Orbán administration started to distribute money into the tourism sector to help its recovery from the damage the coronavirus epidemic caused. Interestingly, only tourism companies outside Budapest can apply. Meanwhile, for example, hotels in the country could already open. In the capital, many remained closed because, without foreign tourists, they are not profitable. Many think that the reason behind the government’s decision is that Budapest is currently an opposition-lead city.
According to mfor.hu, the tourism sector in Budapest is in significant trouble, but the Orbán administration will not support local hotels or restaurants financially. In contrast, tourism companies in the country can apply for vast amounts of money. Interestingly, all hotels are open outside Budapest, while in the capital many internationally renowned places remained closed because there are no foreign tourists.
For example, hotels like Astoria, Gellért or Hilton did not open. Still, there are a lot of smaller motels and hostels that also face significant problems because of the coronavirus epidemic. Even so, they cannot apply for state funds.
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169.1 million EUR is the sum for which all hostels outside Budapest, having not more than eight rooms, can apply. This means that
the government would like to give more than 3,000 EUR after each room
taking into consideration that in this category, 28 thousand hostels, motels and other accommodations have 55 thousand rooms altogether. The Hungarian Tourism Agency will distribute the money, and the deadline for the application is July 15.
The call for applications does not mention why tourism companies in Budapest cannot apply. Mfor.hu says that the Kisfaludy program, under which the Hungarian Tourism Agency is going to distribute the money, focused originally on offering financial support for hotels and motels outside Budapest. But that aimed to help the sector before the epidemic when hotels in Budapest were still full of foreign guests. Now it seems that the government will give money to a hotel near Lake Balaton earlier than to a hotel in Budapest
even though the former is already open while the latter is still closed.
The hotels of the Hungarian capital focus mostly on foreign tourists and, in Hungary, people living outside Budapest do not usually come to the capital to spend some nights in a hotel and to see the beauties of the city. That is why the Hungarian Tourism Agency encouraged every Hungarian to come to see Budapest, but apart from words, they will not give money to the hotels in the capital.
Furthermore, neither the tour guides living in Budapest do receive any support. Meanwhile, their colleagues residing outside the capital can get more than 3,000 EUR. Just like in the previous issue, the agency did not give any explanation for that distinction.