We have had the most terrible year in the travel sector, we have been at war with the virus for months, we are fighting and we can only count on ourselves – said the CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency to the daily Magyar Nemzet.
Zoltán Guller recalled that a year ago, not only was everything in the greatest order, but tourism was producing the greatest growth of all time in Hungary.
Due to the epidemic, the economy, and tourism especially, were hit hard. The government, however, immediately supported the sector. Instead of introducing austerity measures, they reduced taxes and supported everyone — including winemakers, accommodation operators, folk musicians, festival organizers, restaurant owners, bands, waitresses and chefs. All tour guides, event organizers, attraction operators, bus entrepreneurs and tour operators also received support, Guller said.
Thousands of developments are taking place to help boost the recovery. Instead of stopping its activity, the government has pushed forward, implementing subsidies that help the companies and make our country competitive, he said.
In rural Hungary, 35 new hotels are being built, while 14,000 private accommodation establishments, 700 boarding houses and 114 beaches will be renovated. Dozens of attractions, castles and spas are also being modernized, and the largest spa development program of all time will begin soon, the CEO added.
Guller emphasized that Hungarian tourism would resume as soon as possible, Until then, the government is covering two-thirds of the labor costs for those in the sector, plus the VAT for home delivery is just 5 percent and there is no tourist tax nor tourism development contribution.
The government has also made it impossible to terminate leases, while there is a loan repayment/interest moratorium for companies and employees. Furthermore, the tax burden of the Szép card remains favorable, and the Széchenyi credit card program has been highly successful as well.