Hungary’s largest ecotourism infrastructure is managed and operated by 22 state forest enterprises and includes lookouts, accommodations, visitor centers, forest schools, educational trails, and railways.
Péter Zambó, State Secretary for Forests and Land Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture, announced that HUF 20 billion has been invested in ecotourism In the last 10 years.
Forestry companies spend about HUF 4 billion a year from their own resources to maintain the ecotourism network they manage. Half of the two million hectares of Hungarian forest area is managed by forestry companies and is visited by some 40 million people every year; meanwhile, the ecotourism facilities of forest farms receive 3.5 million visitors each year.
The co-operation between the government and the forestry companies is a guarantee that families, the elderly and the young will find secure and healthy recreation opportunities in HUngary’s forests at affordable prices.
Máriusz Révész, the government commissioner responsible for Active Hungary, recalled that the government has set the goal that Hungary should be one of the most livable countries by 2030, and a healthy lifestyle plays a major role in this.
The Ős-Dráva Visitor Center and tourist house in Orfű are now competitive with similar facilities in Austria and Slovakia. The Mecsek Forestry renovated and expanded the facility with an investment of HUF 69 million and support of HUF 46 million from the Ödön Téry National Tourist House Development Program. A 16-bed house was built next to the three existing two-story apartment buildings; one of the previously built wooden houses was also expanded with six beds.
The government has re-evaluated the role of forests and maintains that, in addition to economic benefits, it is extremely important that forests benefit the public, mitigate the effects of climate change and provide recreational opportunities.