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Budapest’s tourist industry in crisis

September 26th, 2020

The official overseeing tourism and festivals in the capital warns that many hotels and restaurants will be unable to withstand another six months without tourists in Budapest.

In an interview with 24.hu, Csaba Faix, the director of the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre suggests that Hungary should subsidise enterprises hit by the COVID crisis, which has brought tourism to a virtual standstill. Restaurants and hotels which used up their reserves to keep their staff are now closing down as tourism will certainly not be back for at least another six months. The government does run a relief programme for catering enterprises, but only outside Budapest, because they claim that the capital has the necessary resources to bail out its hotels and restaurants. The Budapest city council flatly denies having such funds available. Faix urges the authorities to propose a solution – otherwise, the tourism industry will lose the capacity to resuscitate when the pandemic is over. He believes the first tourists to come back will be young backpackers out to enjoy themselves in the ‘party district’ of central Budapest. The depreciation of the national currency (see BudaPost, September 25) will have a beneficial effect in that field – visiting Hungary will become cheaper, Faix remarks.

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