Batthyány Square – Batthyány tér, Budapest, Photo: MTI

The impact of the World Aquatic Championships on Hungary’s image is overwhelmingly positive, foreign tourists are satisfied with the country, Zoltán Guller, Chief Executive of the Hungarian Tourism Agency said at a press conference held on Tuesday in the Duna Arena.

He added: the Hungarian Tourism Agency conducted a survey by personally interviewing foreign tourists in Budapest and Balatonfüred regarding the impact of the FINA World Aquatic Championships on Hungarian tourism.

He highlighted: the country was given an unprecedented opportunity to showcase itself and its values to the world, hundreds of millions of television viewers saw Budapest’s tourism features. The foreign tourists who came to Hungary are returning to their home countries with very positive impressions: two thirds of those interviewed are planning to visit Hungary later on, 98 per cent are open to returning, and four out of five people said they will recommend Hungary as a tourist destination to their acquaintances.

Mr Guller said: the country did not only pass the test with flying colours as the organiser of the world event, but also as a host and tourist destination in the past couple of weeks.

He added: according to preliminary expectations, as a result, billions more money will flow into tourism thanks to the tournament. Additionally, those coming to Hungary because of the event spent four times as much time in the country as visitors coming here at other times. The average stay was 9 days, in contrast to 2.4 days in general. With high-prestige sporting events with a large spectatorship, it is possible to attract to the country solvent tourists who are able to stay here for longer, and this is one of the most important strategic objectives of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, he said in summary.

He highlighted: according to the survey, the image of Hungary has changed for the better in the case of one half of foreigners visiting the country, and their satisfaction stood at 8.73 points on a scale of one to ten. Satisfaction with the infrastructure – transport, accommodation, general hygiene and cleanliness – was also very high, all criteria under examination scored higher than 8 on a scale of one to ten.

The greatest positive change was achieved in the perception of security, the opinions of 57 per cent of interviewees changed for the better, and on a scale of one to ten security scored 8.84 points.

Mr Guller pointed out: the impact of the tournament on Hungary’s image is extremely positive which may induce significant long-term effects and will further shift Hungary’s country image in a positive direction.

Visitors to the event were typically young graduates, almost one half fell into the age group between 18 and 29 years, 62 per cent stayed in hotels, and 53 per cent opted for four- to five-star hotels.

As we wrote before, the events of the World Aquatic Championships held between 14 and 30 July were viewed by almost half a million, 485 thousand spectators at five venues.

Source: – Press release

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