Hungary’s security-first approach puts the country among the safest in the world
Recently, the UK newspaper Daily Star featured Hungary on a top ten list of “safe travel destinations with low threat of terrorism.” The ranking came just weeks after Minister János Lázár said that is Prime Minister Orbán’s aim to have Hungary considered among the top ten safest countries of the world.
“Historic cities such as Budapest are full of architectural beauty and further afield, the European country offers stunning countryside,” the Daily Star wrote, emphasizing the low level of terror threats besides the country’s cultural heritage and natural beauty.
Tourism figures clearly show that Hungary’s appeal is no secret in the UK. Last year, we received approximately 380 thousand visitors from the UK, booking 918 thousand guest nights in Hungary. While that’s the second highest overall number, if you look only at Budapest, British tourists make the top of the list of guest nights.
But it’s not only our friends from the UK. Tourism in Hungary has been growing robustly. In 2015, 6.2 percent more tourists visited Hungary from abroad compared to 2014, while the number of guest nights rose by 6.7 percent in 2016. In the first half of 2017, the number of guests visiting commercial accommodations rose by ten percent from the same period in the previous year. Moreover, as I noted before, tourism growth in Hungary far exceeds international averages. According to the latest UNWTO report, international tourist arrivals in 2016 rose 3.9 percent around the world and 2.1 percent in Europe. The growth in Hungary doubled or tripled those figures.
Tourists love the Hungarian capital and countryside, according to a video published recently on Mandiner.
These tourists enjoy friendly locals, great gastronomy, and a robust selection of cultural activities. But travelers, especially in today’s Europe, also want to feel safe.
The praise for Hungary as a tourist destination, and features like the one that appeared in the Daily Star, show that the government’s determination to prioritize security is working. A tough stance on crime, tens of thousands of police officers and soldiers – and, of course, border security – have all contributed to this result.
The border fence, according to György Bakondi, chief security advisor to the prime minister, will stand as long as the security situation requires it and serves as a cornerstone of the security of the people of Hungary and Europe. “The Government will not bow to any form of pressure and regards the security of the Hungarian people as being of primary importance,” Bakondi said. The protection of the European borders, according to Minister Lázár, will be the most important task in the coming year.
Hungary is indeed an attractive place to stay and a growing number of tourists agree. Make no mistake, the country’s security – that we remain a safe place – is an integral part of that.