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Aug 01, 2017

485,000 spectators watch FINA World Championships in Budapest and Balatonfüred

Hotels in Budapest were fully booked, the average occupancy rate was in excess of 90 percent during the two weeks of the World Championships, and the average prices of rooms increased by 200 percent

Just over 485,000 spectators watched the FINA World Aquatic Championships at five venues in Budapest and Balatonfüred.

Miklós Seszták, minister for National Development, President of the Organizing Committee of the World Championships, announced the figure during a press conference held at the Duna Arena on Monday.

The minister also highlighted that more than 400,000 visitors attended the supporter zones set up on Margaret Island and next to the Duna Arena.

“A great many foreigners supported their athletes at the venues, tickets were sold in the hundreds of thousands, primarily to Brits, Germans, French and Americans," Minister Seszták said. 

The minister also revealed that hotels in Budapest were fully booked, the average occupancy rate was in excess of 90 percent during the two weeks of the World Championships, and the average prices of rooms increased by 200 percent.

“Two thirds of the guests specifically came to see the World Championships during this period, and they stayed four times longer than the average stay, for more than nine days," Minister Seszták said.

The minister said a survey had been conducted, on a scale of one-to-ten, and the satisfaction indicator was 8.73, the sense of security averaged 8.84, and 66 percent of foreign guests are planning to come back to Hungary.

The minister also noted that the World Masters Championships was being held on August 7. Exactly 11,711 attendees have been accredited, including 9,378 athletes, with a contingent of 6,501 swimmers, and 125 teams enrolled for the water polo tournament.

Zoltán Balog, minister of Human Capacities, said Hungary was especially proud of the opening ceremony where "culture and sports met”.

“More than 500,000 dancers featured in the production who delivered the highest standards in terms of coordination and choreography, but I should also make mention of the light and sound technologies, and I believe that few countries are capable of something like this," Balog said.

The minister also said that Budapest will host the World Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships next year and the World Junior Swimming Championships in 2019. The European championships of swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming and diving will be held in the Duna Arena in 2020 which will be followed by the World Short Course Swimming Championships in 2024.