Hvg.hu got hold of a planned government proposal which would centralise tourism in Hungary affecting Budapest and the countryside alike.
According to the proposal, which hvg.hu received from an anonym source, the government would be present everywhere: sport events, concerts, festivals and tourism as a whole would be centralised and controlled through the National Tourism Agency (NIÜ).
The concept is not public yet, and government sources have not confirmed it so far, but it’s signed by the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, and it’s approved by Antal Rogán, Head of Cabinet of the Prime Minister. Based on the proposal, negotiations have started in January, and it might be submitted in the near future.
The main goal of the centralisation is to create an agency which covers every tourism related branch in Hungary, to make it more efficient and more profitable: only 8.8% of Hungary’s GDP came in from tourism in 2013, while this number in the nearby countries is 12-15%. The government would like to achieve this raise through several centralised agencies, such as the National Tourism Agency (NIÜ), which would replace the currently existing Hungarian Tourism Ltd.
Several other institutions would fall under the NIÜ, such as the National Congressional Office (NKI), which should make Hungary “a business tourism destination,” and get ahead of cities like Wien, Prague, Bratislava, Zagreb, or Ljubljana. International congresses would be organized, making Hungary a “conference centre.” The government would either create or obtain a signature event, such as the Geneva International Motor Show, or Bocuse d’Or in Lyon.
According to the proposition, the government is planning to create several other institutions as well, such as the National Event Coordination Centre (NRKK), which would organize and coordinate touristic and sport events. The Sport Events Division would be necessary to organize main events, because the current clubs and associations are unable to do so.
The National Tourism Development Office (NTFI) would promote tourism in the countryside and would make the already popular destinations, such as the Matra, the wine regions, or the Lake Balaton, more widely known.
Budapest would fall under the jurisdiction of the Budapest Tourism Development Organization (BTSZ), and the capital would get the major role in making Hungary even more desirable for tourists. The city would have a Budapest Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), which would be responsible for improving the tourism in the city, and creating the BUDAPEST Brand.
Another new institution would be the Natural and Cultural Inheritance Office (TKÖI), which would be responsible for making use of Hungary’s natural and cultural wonders, such as lakes, rivers, and thermal waters, or agricultural products. The office would work along the Ministry of Agriculture.
Although the paper should simply be a proposal, it’s so well worked out that the government could carry it out almost immediately if it becomes accepted. At the bottom of the proposal it’s declared that the EU has no rights to form any opinions on the matter, the Parliament is not required to discuss it, and that there should be no national consultation, and no questions raised either.
Copy editor: bm