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Conference tourism grows 5% in 2005

The number of conferences in Hungary increased almost 5 % and the number conference guests by slightly over 5 % last year, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Monday. There were a total of 67,000 conference guests at 340 conferences in Hungary last year, with the majority of conferences attracting participants from over ten countries and lasting an average 4 days, said director of the Hungarian National Tourist Office Gábor Galla to the paper.


Last year's trend shifted from economic and business conferences to medical conferences, which represented a third of all international conferences held in Hungary in 2005. The biggest rise was recorded in the number of IT conferences, which doubled from 2004, he added. A total of 73 % of all professional conferences were held in Budapest, similar to Austria and the Czech Republic, where the capitals attracted around 70 % of conference tourism. Galla said he expected a further increase in conference tourism when a new conference centre opens in Budapest with capacity for 5,000 people. A tender is planned to be invited this year for this congress centre. Recent years saw the opening of new congress facilities outside Budapest, as well, such as in Sopron, Keszthely and Szeged, and a new venue is under construction in Debrecen, said the paper. Galla said Hungary's university towns are the most suitable locations for conferences because local cultural life is an important condition of successful conference tourism.