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Interview with József Németh
Director of the National Office of Tourism of Hungary in Spain

Hungary, country of spas and Wellness, will offers Europe its great thermal power. A patrimony of 1300 sources and springs of mineral and medicinal water, having 2000 years of history. Healthy Routes and its hotel net of 816 establishments and more than ninety thousand places. Both are rising values that place the magiar country as a preferential destination for hollidays of well-being, geting an excellent tourist position as member of the European Union.

hungary is highly fashionable in Spain and is stablishing itself as the fifth receptor country of spanish tourists, behind Germany, (11. 5%), United States (7. 1%), Italy (7%) and Great Britain (6.2%). With an affluence of a hundred thousand travelers and 350.000 stays along the year 2003, it increases the flow of visitors in 5% according to statistics of previous year.

To a large extent this tourist potential and interest to enjoy the thermal pleasures, are due to the constant and good articulated work carried out by the National Office of Tourism of Hungary in Spain. Its Director, József Németh, is a refined, affable and cordial person, he represents the image of the Hungarian, hospitable people, respectful for the traditions and cosmopolitan.

Conversing with TERMASWORLD, he weighs up the tourist exercise, highlighting the importance of the denomination of 2003 as Year of the Health.

It was excellent. Hungary has the most important thermal patrimony of Europe and Budapest is the only city of the world, possesing more than 130 springs of minero-medicinal water from a total of 1.300 springs classified in the whole country. It was also influenced by the diversity of our tourist offer. Along the year 2003, the number of tourists that arriving to our country was 32.412.000 visitors and the revenues amount to 3.028 Euros, a positive result, according to the process of progressive recovery the world tourism is going through.

József Németh is glad due to his country has been chosen as destination of leisure and well-being holidays by the Spaniards, the same hapen with the neighboring country, Portugal, where the affluence of travelers to the magiar country becoming increased around the 17, 3% regarding the year 2002.

The entrance of spanish travelers became increased by 5% regarding the previous tourist year however he is also satisfied because the Hungarians have also shown their interest for Spain. According to our statistics, about 60.000 travelers arrived coming from Hungary to enjoy the tourist attractiveness of this beautiful country during the year 2003.

His great tourist experience, the admiration toward Hungarian History and the affection for his country make József Németh a man with a very wide vision of the Hungarian reality.

The quality of tourist services has notably been improved, specially everything related to the renovation of their lodging structures, through the opening of several establishments specially conceived for deluxe tourism ?such as the Four Seasons Gresham Palace - and of business ?such as the new NH Budapest -. At the present time, the Hungarian hotel net is composed by 816 establishments with 89.871 hotel places, and 33.345 of those are concentrate in 134 lodgings of Budapest.

Aware of the importance that imply to be present in the main tourist forums, József Németh is a dynamic and active promoter of its country, in fairs and exhibitions of Spain and others of international level.

We consider that these meetings are fundamental as well as the participation of spanish representatives in the professional appointments for the sector of the tourism that took place in Hungary. Among this exchange of business opportunities it stands out the international fair Welcome to Hungary that takes place every March, in the Center of Conventions, of Budapest.

During the year 2004, the Office of Tourism of Hungary will continue supporting the promotion of the tourism by means of different programs directed to the tourism and the culture.

In the Year of the Health we have published the series Healthy Routes beginning with the Thermal Route through Budapest and its Real Spas.

In 2004 we will promote the second Healthy Route through the Western Trans-Danube. Whose itinerary run from Budapest toward Héviz, the biggest lake of thermal water of Europe, including a total of 48 hotels SPA with 12.500 hotel places. It is one of the most emblematic tourist circuits trough the greennest region in the country and especially for some leisure and health holidays.

BudapestRelated to the culture, stands out the Program 2004: appointment with the sport in Hungary, composed by four sport events of first magnitude that will take place during March, August, October and December, in the cities of Debrecen, Györ, Zalaegerszeg and Budapest; the World Championship of Athletics, the Marlboro Hungarian Grand Prix of Formula 1, the Supermarathon Viena-Budapest and the Handball European Championship.

Finally, József Németh, point out the importance of the orientation of the tourism toward rural areas that offers an appropriate infrastructure, orographical richness and a peculiar gastronomy.

The region of the puszta or Great Plain will be promoted; the ecological tourism stands out as a specialized product in Eger, Badacsony and Tokaj; and the tourism of action in the region of the Lake Balatón, furthermore the ranchs and rounds of equestrian tourism coordinated by the Association of Equestrian Tourism of Hungary. All these routes and itineraries provide novel holidays in order to diversify the leisure possibilities, completing their offer of fluvial tourism along the Danube and the thematic journeys of architecture and monuments in Budapest.


The moment when his country will become member of the European Union, in May 1st 2004, is considered by the Director of the National Office of Tourism of Hungary in Spain as a milestone in the history and he describes and summarizes this event as the entrance in a "a global space of progress, democracy and solidarity ".

Balneario Gellet "Hungary will offers its thermal patrimony that includes a total of 1300 sources, 39 towns with official certificate of being cities of thermal interest due to theirs medical-mineral waters, 5 medicinal caves, 13 places for medicinal therapy, 48 sources of mineral water with official certificate, 136 sources of medicinal-mineral waters with official certificate, 4 places of medicinal mud and a town with a "mofette" ( natural source of carbon-dioxide for medicinal use)

József Németh considers that for the magiar people, the integration of his country in the democratic society of Europe is also "a special invitation to offer the visitors the best in the hospitality of its people, the beauty of its landscapes and the patrimonial nobility of the cities and monuments."

He emphasizes that, in this unique occasion for the friendship and the mutual knowledge, "our country is bedecked to receive them with the attractiveness of our country, a plural state settled in the basin of the Cárpatos that, in its thousand years of history, it has always been an important nexus between the Eastern and Western cultures".


In this invitation, the responsible for the National Office of Tourism of Hungary in Spain, remembers that Hungary is in the way to be discovered, "a cosmopolitan people that values the confidence and the traditions that enjoys a privileged nature and that feels an special inclination toward the arts, the music and the gastronomy."

"A country ?he added- with small towns stopped in the time, viticultural regions of well-known international prestige, imposing cathedrals and castles, endless plains of nomadic value, an excellent net of infrastructures with a wide offer of tourist and thermal activities to affordable prices and, first it all, a cordial treatment ".

"We want?he said- to show them the charms of Hungary, our landscapes and parties, the places and most beautiful cities, an open door to discover the personality and the magiar inheritance. To take advantage of any weekend, or next holidays in order to know us.

Without any doubt they will find what they have in theirs thoughts, we will wait them with open arms, with the certainty of being a friend for everyone."


European consultant of Tourism and Thermal Administration.


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