According to the Minister heading the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, the Government’s goal is for Hungary to be Central Europe’s leading tourism region by 2030, and it is providing all necessary domestic and European Union funding in the interests of achieving this goal.

At Saturday’s official inauguration of the Holnapocska Camp and Zobor Theme Park in Zalaszabar, realised with an investment of over one billion forints (EUR 311 million), Antal Rogán said: “The Government is earmarking 828 billion forints (EUR 2.58bn) for developing Hungarian tourism specifically outside Budapest over the next ten years”.

“Zalaszabar has overtaken Budapest”, because Hungary’s first fixed installation rollercoaster has also been built here, and no other theme park for children of this quality exists anywhere else in the country”, Mr. Rogán stated.

“Tourism contributes to the GDP and to the reinforcement of the national economy, but it is not just about foreign tourists coming here, but also about us discovering our own homeland. Tourism has increased continuously over the past ten years, and during the past two years the number of tourist nights spent in Hungary has exceeded the figure for the previous year by some 10 percent, thanks to a roughly fifty-fifty percent ratio of foreign and domestic guests”, the Minister told the press.

“Tourism is a strategic sector, and the goal with the founding of the Hungarian Tourism Agency was the establishment of a top body to coordinate and develop tourism”, he said. “The Government wants to develop accommodation, restaurants, tourism attractions, adventure parks, medicinal spas and infrastructure all at once, and there are tender opportunities for these, including the designation of a few strategic regions”, he listed.

At the inauguration ceremony, in which CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency Zoltán Guller also took part, Mr. Rogán spoke about the fact that a B&B development programme was launched last year, within the framework of which funding was provided for 650 development projects, most of which will be realised within the next few years. Last year, funding was provided for the development of Lake Balaton’s beaches, and this year 2.5 billion forints (EUR 7.8 million) in funding is being provided for development projects on the part of the Balaton’s lakeside public beaches, which primarily serve families with two children.

Mr. Rogán said it is very important for businesses operating within the tourism sector to function “cleanly and in a taxed manner”, because what will enable taxes to remain low is if everybody pays their taxes properly. In the restaurant industry, for instance, the VAT cut introduced this year has resulted in the various sectors realising a 40-60 percent increase in turnover compared to last year, and the programme to implement the digitalisation of accommodations is aimed at whitening the registration system.

The region’s MP Jenő Manninger said the Zalaszabar investment is about more than just reginal development, and is aimed at ensuring that children and families alike enjoy themselves. The development programme, which has been realised in the immediate vicinity of the Little Balaton region, and is the highest quality theme park of its kind for hundreds of miles, contributes to enabling the whole region to grow into a tourism destination.

Founder of the Holnapocska Camp and the Zobor Theme Park Zoltán Szabadics told the press that he and his wife have spent all of their personal resources on constructing the camp and theme park, which hosts hundreds of seriously ill or recovering children every year. Their goal was to realise the Balaton tourism region’s most attractive theme park and best camp, and they were assisted by the Government’s Kisfaludy programme.

According to the information provided at the inauguration ceremony, the total cost of the investment project, which was realised a full nine months prior to the deadline, was 1.271 billion forints (EUR 4bn), of which almost half was provided by the Kisfaludy Tourism Development Programme. In addition to the country’s only fixed installation rollercoaster, a new receiving building and visitors’ centre were also built, and the existing water ride was also extended.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)