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Feb 13, 2017

Hungary to become top five tourist destination within two years

48 beaches at Lake Balaton will be renovated at a cost of about 1.86 billion HUF, wine routes will be built in the region of Sopron, the Széchenyi Palace in nearby Nagycenk will be renovated and much more

Hungary is to invest billions of forints in turning the country into one of Europe's top five tourist destinations over the next two years.

Zoltán Guller, head of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, said projects will include upgrades of 48 beaches at Lake Balaton at a cost of about 1.86 billion HUF, and replacing the pleasure boats on the lake with electric ones.

Wine routes will be built in the region of Sopron, the Széchenyi Palace in the nearby Nagycenk will be renovated, and 23 billion HUF will be spent on developing tourism facilities around Lake Fertő (Neusiedler See), the lake straddling the border with Austria, Guller said.

In the northern part of the country, more than 90 billion HUF will be spent on developments in the Tokaj Hegyalja region, where the 700-meter glass bridge of Sátoraljaújhely will be the longest structure of its kind in the world, he said

Last week it was revealed that the tourism industry has grown for another year as Hungary and especially Budapest becomes even more popular with international travelers.

According to the Central Statistical Office (KSH), the number of guest nights in Hungary’s commercial lodgings grew by an annual 14.4 percent to 1,747,000 in December 2016.

Nights spent by Hungarian tourists rose by 8.6 percent to 853,000, while those spent by foreign visitors jumped 20.5 percent to 894,000 due to a low base related to the migrant crisis. Nights at Budapest hotels were up 22 percent. Revenue grew by 16.5 percent to 30.9 billion HUF.

The tourism surge has led to reports of an increase in hotels being built throughout the capital over the next 6-7 years to cater to the increased number of visitors to Budapest.