Belarus, Hungary discuss cooperation in tourism

03 Июня’20

Belarus and Hungary have discussed cooperation in tourism amid the pandemic and the prospects to restore tourist flows, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Sport and Tourism Ministry.

Taking part in the video conference was Director of the Tourism Department of the Belarusian Sport and Tourism Ministry Irina Voronovich and Director for International Cooperation of the Tourism Agency Fruzsina Zakarias.

The participants of the talks exchanged information on the development of tourism in their countries in Q1 2020. “It was found out that the problems are similar in many respects: a significant reduction in tourist arrivals, a drop in exports, and uncertainty about the end of the crisis,” the press service said.

The Hungarian side noted that passenger traffic at Ferenc Liszt International Airport has decreased by 99.5% since early April. One of the country's largest travel agencies Robinson Tours, which had worked in the Russian direction for 25 years, was forced to liquidate its activities. Most travel agencies have been closed since mid-March.

In April the European Commission sent recommendations to the EU member states on opening borders and resuming travel. However, as representatives of Hungary noted, each country independently decides on the date of border opening.

For example, after 15 June Hungary plans to resume tourist exchange with neighboring countries, as well as countries with the epidemiological situation similar to that of Hungary (as of 2 June, Hungary officially registered 3,921 cases of COVID-19 infection, 532 people died).

According to the Hungarian side, the Tourism Agency has also changed its approach to working with consumers, shifting the emphasis to online communication, as well as to advertising domestic tourism. More attention is paid to the placement of targeted advertising on social networks.

The Hungarian Tourism Agency also shared its experience in developing a set of recommendations Covid Handbook compiled with the National Center for Public Health. The handbook contains practical advice for participants of the tourism business on working in the conditions of pandemic and gradual recovery from the crisis. The Hungarian side believes that this handbook will help hotel and travel managers to adapt to the current situation and ensure the safety of guests and service providers.

The Belarusian participants in the video conference talked about the situation with tourism in the country and steps taken to minimize the consequences of the pandemic.

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