Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Relations and Communications, said this year’s One with Nature World of Hunting and Nature Exhibition will be Hungary’s most complex international event to date, giving the country a fresh chance to showcase its skills in organizing large-scale events.
Kovács, also the government commissioner responsible for organizing the world exhibition, told Origo that the event provided an excellent opportunity to relaunch conference and international exhibition tourism in Hungary. Asked why the hunting exhibition had been derided by the left-wing, Kovács said the issue of hunting was being exploited by the opposition to create divisions in society and turn people against each other. Hungary’s 70,000 hunters come from all walks of life and subscribe to a wide range of political beliefs, and the event focuses on issues promoted by left-wing activists such as ecology and sustainability, he said, adding that politicizing the event therefore made no sense.
As for its cost, the state secretary said the opposition’s charges that huge sums are being spent bear no scrutiny. The budget for four venues, HUNGEXPO, Hatvan, Keszthely and Vásárosnamény and a series of events spanning several weeks, together with the European Equestrian Championships, will amount to the originally planned HUF 17 billion (EUR 48m). The HUNGEXPO grounds have undergone a HUF 55 billion upgrade linked to the world exhibition and future events of similar size and quality. Moreover, there will be a return on the investment in the coming decades from rents and revenues, he added.
The state secretary noted that six international conferences will be held during the 20 days of the world exhibition held from Sept. 25 to Oct. 14. Fully 75,000sqm of HUNGEXPO’s space, including eight exhibition halls, will be used. Exhibitions include the thousand-year history of Hungarian hunting as well as presentations on the wetlands of the Carpathian Basin and conservation organizations, he said.
Photo credit: Origo