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NATAS Business Mission 2013 - Hungary

Hungary, one of the oldest European countries, is a favoured destination the world over. With its rich history, unique culture and legendary hospitality, this small country attracts 10.2 million visitors a year and was ranked the world’s 13th most visited destination country in 2002 and placed within the top 30 most popular holiday destinations in 2011.

Hungary traces its history back to the Magyars, an alliance of semi-nomadic tribes from Southern Russia and the Black Sea coast that arrived in the region in the ninth century. After centuries as a powerful medieval kingdom, Hungary became part of the Ottoman empire and then the Hasburgs before finally emerging as an independent country after World War I. But the tribulations of the Hungarians were far from over. World War II brought a wave of bloodshed to the country, with hundreds of thousands of Hungarians falling victim to the war, and Hungary becoming part of the East European block. It wasn’t until 1989 that Hungary once again became an independent democracy.

Today, Hungary is part of the EU single market and has been categorised by the World Bank as a high-income economy that is structurally, politically and institutionally open. It now has a highly developed transport system that includes road, railway, air and water transportation. The country’s iconic Line 1 of the Budapest Metro system, officially known as the Millennium Underground Railway, is also a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, the country is home to the largest thermal water cave system in the world, and Lake Heviz, the world’s second largest thermal lake.

With its many historical and cultural attractions, as well as its thermal springs and spas, Hungary is a country that offers incredible opportunities – both for travellers to immerse themselves in the beauty and wonders of the country, and for travel trade businesses to collaborate. Drawn by the vast potential of Hungary, NATAS led a trade delegation of more than 30 members to the scenic country from 7-13 April 2013. During the trip, the group met with various tourism officials and tour operators to network and establish firm working relationships.

But the trip was not all work and no play. The six-day mission also saw the group exploring various attractions and places of interest such as the Lazar Equestrian Park, Royal Castle District, Art Nouveau Walk, Solomon’s Tower, St. Andrew’s Village, St. Stephen’s Basilica, St Matthias Catholic Church and many more.

In all, it was a wonderful and enriching experience!


Facts about Hungary

Capital:                                                Budapest

Area:                                                    93,030 sq. km/35,919 sq. mi

Population:                                         9.94 million

Official language:                              Hungarian          

Currency:                                            Hungarian Forint

Government:                                      Parliamentary Republic

Time zone:                                         Central European Time (GMT+1)
Daylight savings:                               Between end of March and end of October CET+1 (GMT+2)


Literacy rate:                                      99.4%

Ethnic groups:                                    83.7% Hungarians

                                                              3.1% Roma

                                                              1.3% Germans

                                                              14.7% undeclared


Religious groups:                             39% Roman Catholic

                                                              11.6% Calvinist

                                                      2.2% Lutheran

                                                      1.8% Greek Catholic

                                                      1.9% others

                                                      1.5% atheist

                                                      16.7% non-religious

                                                      27.2% not stated


Terrain:                                                Mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border

 Climate:                                              Temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers

National flower:                                  Tulip

National animal:                                Turul (Mythical bird)

Largest thermal lake:                        Lake Hévíz (5 ha)

Largest lake:                                       Lake Balaton (592 sq. km/228.6 sq. mi)

Highest mountain peak:                   Mount Kékes (1,014 m/3,327 ft)






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