According to turizmusonline.hu, the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark was enlisted as a World Heritage on the list of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The park is a beloved destination of tourists, school groups and families and its huge area goes beyond the border between Hungary and Slovakia.
The Geopark located in 64 Hungarian and 28 Slovakian settlements became included in UNESCO’s Global Geopark Networks two years ago, thanks to a decision made in Paris. Such an achievement results in offering more opportunities regarding tourism and scientific research. In 2012 the Council of Salgótarján submitted a tender to gain support for development. They received the support and could carry out two major improvements for 614 million HUF.
The Council operates the House of Geomiracles (Geocsodák Háza), which awaits its guest, while in Eresztvény, not far from Salgótarján, the Geopark Nonprofit Kft. established the Geopark’s centre of research, control and learning. Katalin Molnár, CEO told turizmusonline that the centre also functions as a showroom, where the natural values of the 92 settlements can be seen. Last year they experienced a high increase in interest, as thousands of tourists visited the park. Many organized trips, mainly from the Great Plain and Budapest.
The castles of Somoskő, Salgó and Fülek are especially popular destinations, but so are the Medves plateau and the exhibition of Ipolytarnóc that shows the ancient world. Luckily, the establishment of the centre boosted the tourists’ interest, therefore, the number of guest nights increased greatly, while the educational, teaching part of the facility cooperates with the schools located in the area of the park.
To make people become aware of the opportunities around them, lectures and presentations are given in libraries and community centres about the geopark, the results of research, and current programmes. But the youngsters and tourists interested are also welcome in the centre, where interactive programmes await them. Furthermore, they demonstrate how to protect nature and our environment and show promotional videos about the park. Trips are organized, too; visitors may go and see the castles in the area, and become mesmerized by the scenery.
Moreover, an event called the European Geoparks Week will be held in the second half of May in the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark. The Photo Marathon also challenges the enthusiastic participants, for the third time. Those interested in something else may just as well attend a night trip, as some will be organized both for the younger and the elder generations.
Turizmusonline also notes that writes that the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark and the Bakony-Balaton Geopark established the Hungarian Geopark Committee (Magyar Geopark Bizottság) within UNESCO. That happened in March. The work plan, the regulations of operation and the board charter were all accepted at the meeting in Csopak.
Additionally, Katalin Molnár called attention to the fact that they submit tenders to gain international support this year, which would be spent on establishing further showrooms illustrating geological values, and also for training events. They aim to adjust more to the conditions of the international geopark networks and hope to be visited by many tourists this year too. Hence, the cooperation between Hungary and Slovakia is seen really important.
Copy editor: bm