44. TRAVEL EXHIBITION 25-28. February 2021
We thank our exhibitors and visitors for their contribution to the success of Travel exhibition and Caravan Salon 2020. Special thanks to them for sticking with us among this year’s unique challenges! We hope that their participation has lived up to their expectations!
Travel Exhibition and Caravan Salon was again a meeting place for the professionals and annual celebration for travelers in 2020, for whom the most important thing is to establish personal contact with exhibitors, learn about domestic and foreign offers, and find discounted offers.
The 43rd Travel Exhibition and the concurrently hosted 29th Budapest Boat Show were concluded with a modest level of interest compared to the events of the recent years. The global coronavirus situation and the accompanying media coverage had an impact on the exhibition, which was nevertheless attended by tens of thousands of people at the HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center, where over 250 exhibitors from 40 countries presented their destinations, services and products.
Due to the coronavirus, the directors of Hungexpo and the exhibition organizers continuously conferred with the exhibitors and authorities and finally decided on hosting the event, explained Gábor Ganczer, CEO of Hungexpo Zrt. at the opening ceremony. A range of precautionary measures were introduced for the safety of visitors, which allowed hosting Hungary’s primary tourism exhibition.
According to Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest, travelling is the best investment as it enriches everyone and travelling opens us up to the world and offers many opportunities for learning. Budapest is both the home of the local citizens and the country’s capital city and it’s important to find a balance between these two qualities, said the mayor. In many cities, the appearance of masses of travellers has become intolerable for the residents, which must be managed. The competition is intensifying in the tourism market and quality can represent a competitive advantage, added the mayor.
Gábor Minczér, mayor of the city of Eger – the exhibition’s domestic guest of honour – explained how the settlement plays a definitive role in Hungarian tourism. Its rate of visitors has continuously grown over the last five years, with a 71% increase in guest night compared to 2013, approaching the ideal level of 700 thousand nights in 2019. Last year, the Heves County seat was voted the Tourist Settlement of the Year in the competition announced by the number one domestic accommodation booking website.
Massimo Rustico, Ambassador of Italy to Budapest was thankful that his country was chosen this year as the exhibition’s foreign guest of honour. He expressed his regret over the way the coronavirus has overshadowed the wonderful image of the Italy. The ambassador explained how the country is actively fighting against the spread of the disease and was hopeful that international cooperation and science will help to rapidly overcome the crisis. Italy is one of the oldest of destinations with an increasing number of visitors – last year, over 90 million tourists generated a revenue of over 40 billion euros in the country.
Péter Princzinger, President of the Hungarian Tourism Association Foundation dubbed the event the “fundamental institution” of the tourism profession.
Labour shortage is one of the greatest challenges of the tourism industry. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that this year, one of the most successful professional events of the exhibition was the CheckINN Tourism Career Expo, which featured nearly 50 companies offering employment in the tourism sector, including Accor Hotels Hungary, Albatros Catering, Budapest Party Service, Cityrama Travel Agency, the Continental Group, as well as the host, HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center, Ibusz, Kartago Tours, MARESZ, Marriott Hotels, Wizz Air Hungary and the Zsidai Group. The CheckINN stage hosted a number of experts who shared their experiences with the audience, including János Vértes, founder of Beyond the Standard and Kolorádió Festival and Virág Csiszár, responsible for coordinating live music performers at Sziget Festival and other events. The job interview and career-building tips of the experts at Randstad Hungary also proved to be highly popular.
Career guidance was also in the focus of this year’s Student Professional Day, where participants had a chance to hear the inspiring words of tourism industry experts and put their knowledge to the test at mock interviews.
One of the exhibition’s success stories was the Business Blogger Corner at the Blogger Meeting Point, where domestic tourism industry experts and bloggers dealing with the subject of travelling had a chance to meet each other and establish cooperation in the field of communication.
The Budapest Host City stand also attracted a great number of visitors, which was established through the cooperation of the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre (BFTK) and the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKIK). The 400 square-metre site promoted the Budapest Card, which offers access to cultural tourism, official capital city festivals and thrilling experiences. The holy sites of the country also received particular emphasis at the exhibition. The main reason for this was that this year, Budapest was to host the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in September.
PASSWORD: THERE IS AN ACTIVE WEEKEND
In line with international trends, active recreation was one of the central themes of the exhibition. For the third occasion, the Travel Exhibition hosted the Active Island, a combination of multiple stands, which again proved to be highly successful. There were a great number of visitors at the stands dealing with cycling, hiking, rowing and recreational boating.
At the stand of the Hungarian National Sports Agency, visitors had a chance to cycle along the routes of the Giro d’Italia, view the Giro d’Italia semi trailer covered in stickers as well as take photos related to the subject.
This year’s Blogger Meeting again hosted a range of domestic bloggers who gave lectures and related stories of their travels along with useful tips for those interested in the subject.
This year’s Travel Exhibition also hosted the Caravan Salon, featuring 75 caravans and recreational vehicles in a 2601 square-metre space, far greater than ever before.
This year’s Travel Exhibition also hosted the Unwalked Paths Festival, the greatest domestic event of independent and extreme travellers – which celebrated its 10 anniversary this year – where the lectures and roundtable discussions focused on the cultures, customs and destinations of various countries.
The Travel Exhibition 2020 also saw the return of the 9th Africa Expo Budapest, which is still the first and only, exclusive, four-day international thematic forum focusing on Africa.