Budapest, September 2 (MTI) – Tourism ties with China are expanding and will play a role in the “One Belt, One Road” project aimed at intensifying international economic relations, Economy Minister Mihaly Varga said on Wednesday.

Cooperation between China and central and eastern Europe will be an important component of the project, Varga said at a strategic forum of 16 CEE countries and China in Bled in Slovenia.

A declaration of intent to join the project was signed after the forum.

Varga said several aspirations in China’s foreign economic strategy coincide with those included in the “One Belt, One Road” project, which places increased emphasis on supporting the tourism ambitions of countries located along the Silk Road, developing common tourism routes and products and organising international sporting events.

International tourism organisations expect a further upswing in the number of Chinese tourists, so it is important that the central and eastern European countries involved in the “One Belt, One Road” project should be able to promote the region to Chinese visitors effectively, he said.

Hungary is already experiencing this trend, with some 90,000 Chinese guests spending 160,000 nights in the country last year — a 20 percent increase in the number of guests and 16 percent increase in the number of guest nights. Thanks to direct flights launched, the number of Chinese visitors grew by 35 percent and the number of guest nights by 30 percent in the first half of this year.


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