One of central Europe’s topmost tourism fairs, Travel 2018, featuring 280 exhibitors from 23 countries, opened in Budapest on Thursday, with Morocco and the Hungarian spa town of Hévíz, in western Hungary, receiving top billing.
Hévíz was in the midst of challenging times, given the after-effects of the economic crisis and the steep drop in the number of Russian tourists who traditionally make up the bulk of tourists at the spa town, Gábor Ganczer, managing director of Hungexpo, the company that organises the fair. But the civil and business spheres have teamed up with regional partners, and tourism in the city of less than five thousand residents closed 2017 with a record number visitors, accounting for 4 percent of Hungarian tourism, he said.
The event, one of the most important in central Europe, is being held in two pavilions across 25,000 square meters. The main topic of the event is active recreation.
Moroccan Tourism Minister Mohamed Sajid said tourism between the two countries received a boost from the launch of direct air transport between them in autumn 2017.
Péter Princzinger, head of the Hungarian tourism association, said the government had got its National Strategy of Tourism Development right for the next 10-12 years. Its aims include boosting the number of the sector’s employees from 370,000 to 460,000 and its share of GDP from 10 percent to 16 percent, he said.
On the fringes of the expo, exhibitions on Africa, running, cycling and independent travel are also being held.
featured image: MTI