The first stop of the Hungarian Tourism Agency’s (MTÜ) national tour was held in Liszt Ferenc Conference and Cultural Centre, in Sopron. According to Turizmus.com, the agency began this series of programs in order to inform experts and representatives about new plans for development in the tourism branch from the horse’s mouth, and to give them opportunity to share their opinions and ideas.
Sopron-Fertőd, which is one of the most significant areas of Hungarian tourism is about to get an improvement of approximately 195 million euros. It is a rare opportunity, the last time such an investment was made was between the two world wars, as Sopron’s mayor Tamás Fodor highlighted in his speech.
Sopron’s inner city, the Kisvár area, Széchenyi Square and Pap Meadow will be renewed from the subsidy. Medical and active tourism will be improved, as well as the water tourism near Lake Fertő. In addition to this support, highway M85 will be fully constructed, which will improve the accessibility of this region.
As MTÜ’s minister in chief Zoltán Guller stated, tourism in the region needs a change of paradigm, as the current structure, that was developed in the recent 27 years, cannot live up to today’s challenges. The value of security increased, as well as the funds that can be spent on travelling both in Western Hungary and Hungary. Internet booking began to extend, customer habits and the profit rate of the branch and its enterprises changed.
Tourism increased the payment rate by 10.4 million euros and contributed to Hungarian GDP with 10 percent, and the aim of MTÜ is to increase this percentage to 16. It is not the amount of guests but their spending that needs improvement, so the agency aims to tempt visitors to Hungary who are staying longer.
The goal of the improvement is developing quality. Besides the already existing three areas of tourism (Sopron-Fertő, Balaton, Tokaj-Upper-Tiszta-Nyírség), the establishment of 5-6 new ones is in debate with the Danube curve and Debrecen-Hortobágy among them. It is also planned to make tourism more family friendly in Hungary, and to connect all the accommodation spots’ software to the system of National Tax and Customs.
Local executor pf MTÜ’s development program Béla Kárpáti detailed the improvement plans: along the shores of Lake Fertő, the infrastructure of water, bicycle, fisherman and ecotourism will be developed, as well as the conditions of quality catering.
Vice president of MTÜ’s tourism strategy and development division Tibor Gajda mentioned that the proper operation is not the question of money, and despite the fact that “the other shore of Lake Fertő is a great rival, it is not a shame to learn from the Austrians.” They are planning to establish packages that include at least one cultural element and an advanced gastronomical experience, and they demand accommodation units to sell tickets of different attractions in order to connect separate elements of tourism.
As vice president of MTÜ’s marketing communication division Zsófia Bánhegyi mentioned, a new national brand and some destination brands are under development. For this purpose, a survey is being made in 8 countries and in Hungary as well about the image of Hungary, the potential key words and social media. In addition to this, 40 new projects were initiated in the recent two months on the Internet, to customize the marketing communication toolkit, as online bookings make up the 40-50 percent of the total orders.
Last but not least, one of the founders of Telekom VOLT Festival Norbert Lobenwein talked about the successful relationship between Sopron and the festival and introduced the Csillagok Városa (City of Stars) campaign.
After the presentations, there was a short period for questions, and it was revealed that new tourism representatives will be established in many sending countries such as China, Russia, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom and on the East Bank of the United States.