More cities to open flights to Hungary

2024-05-11 08:20:15China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The number of Chinese cities with direct flights to Budapest will increase to seven starting this summer, including Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Guangdong province, making Hungary the most frequented destination for Chinese tourists in Central and Eastern Europe, said Konnyid Laszlo, head of the National Tourism Agency of Hungary.

The first four months of this year have witnessed a 10 percent increase in the number of flights between the countries, he told reporters.

Hungary has a very special and deep friendship with China, he said, adding it was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with China 75 years ago.

Ever since, friendship and business connections, as well as tourism between Budapest and Beijing have developed, especially in the last 14 years when the Hungarian government adopted the "Eastern Opening" policy that focuses more on China and Asia, he said.

Hungary sees huge potential in Asia and China. Chinese travelers are willing to spend more time and money in European capitals and cities, the tourism chief noted.

Statistics showed that the average stay of Chinese tourists in Hungary is 3.4 nights, which means they not only stay in Budapest, but also visit places outside the capital such as Lake Balaton, which showed that Chinese people know a lot about the country, he said.

He added that it's the same if a Hungarian family makes a trip to China.

"They will visit Beijing, Shanghai as well as Hong Kong in one or two weeks," he said. They always enjoy the natural beauty of China, he said.

In a joint statement released on Thursday, the two sides agreed to strengthen coordination and communication on tourism policies, jointly develop tourism routes and design tourism products, to promote the development of the tourist industry.

During his state visit to France, President Xi Jinping announced the extension of visa-free policies for 12 countries until the end of 2025, including Hungary.

In March, Budapest issued five-year, multiple-entry visas for Chinese citizens on business trips.

China's visa-free policies toward Hungary will promote personnel and cultural exchanges between the countries, the tourism chief said.

He noted that the younger generation plays a vital role in promoting mutual understanding.

"There is a connection between the young people. And for me, it is important because tourism is based on friendship. Tourism is part of our culture," he said.


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