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‘WOW Hungary’ National Brand Unveiled at Tourism Summit

The contribution of tourism to Hungary’s GDP, the results of the “Spice of Europe” campaign, a speech by PM Viktor Orbán, the new “WOW Hungary” national brand, and the “Pro Turismo” awards were all on the agenda at “Turizmus Summit 2018”.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaking at the  tourism summit.

The summit was held at MÜPA Budapest (formerly known as the Palace of Arts). Head of MTÜ Zoltán Guller told guests: “We came here to evaluate and set aims.” He talked about the “National Tourism Development Strategy 2030”, announced last year, describing it as a strategy developed with “Swiss accuracy” and “Hungarian bravado”.

He called the recent growth in the tourism industry “incredible”, citing the favorable numbers, growing constantly since 2010. According to the development strategy, by 2030, tourism’s contribution to GDP should be 16%.

Guller set the aim of achieving a 50-50 ratio of domestic and international tourists in the future. He also emphasized the need for countryside developments, while noting that currently “66% of international arrivals come to Budapest”. He also lauded the success of the “Spice of Europe” campaign, with CNN as the main media partner.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also stressed the importance of tourism to the nation, labelling Hungary’s successful tourism entrepreneurs “patriots”. He explained that “what kind of world surrounds Hungary” is important, and argued that the EU is made up of two groups: “pro-migration federalists” and “anti-migration nationalists”.

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He called tourism, “One of the greatest contributors to the national economy,” noting that the industry provides a livelihood to 400,000 Hungarians.The focal point of Orbán’s speech was the development of countryside tourism. Noting that Budapest is the “flagship”, he said, “It is my personal ambition to make as many people interested in the countryside as in the capital.”

Dávid Farkas, MTÜ’s deputy CEO for tourism strategy, highlighted the importance of online platforms, with 60% of the agency’s appearances already happening online. He said that the agency involves a number of high profile partners such as National Geographic and CNN. He agreed with Orbán about spreading tourism, saying: “We know it is not enough to see Budapest; one should visit the Hungarian countryside as well.”

The new national “WOW Hungary” brand, focusing on areas outside the capital, was announced in a video explaining that the name is short for “Wellspring of Wonders Hungary”, with the campaign logo based on an ancient Hungarian motif. The winning tender, upon which the brand project is based, was submitted by Graphasel Design Studio.

The image film for the campaign involved the makers traveling 6,420 km, with the film crew visiting 90 towns in 22 days.

The 30th “Pro Turismo Awards” were presented at the end of the event, with fashion designer and creator of the Nanushka brand Szandra Sándor, We Love Budapest co-founder and editor-in-chief Regina Papp, chef László Ruprecht, festival organizer Zoltán Fülöp, president of the Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant alliance László Könnyid, and winemaker Bence Laposa all named winners.