hits the throttle
Hungarian Grand Prix has broken all previous records in terms of the number of
visitors. Ticket sales rose 25% compared to last year, the chairman of
organiser Hungaroring Sport told local press last Wednesday.
190,000 spectators came to watch Hakkinen, Alonso, Coulthard et al screaming
round the Ring and stamping their carbon footprint on
(EUR 7.94 million) for the privilege.
were expected to be the largest national group of racing fans at the Hungaroring,
despite the recent retirement of prime mover Michael Schumacher.
allies, the Poles, also came en masse to watch national hero Robert Kubica. In
fact, the highway number 2B that runs from the north, currently closed for
reconstruction works, was temporarily reopened to accommodate the anticipated
influx of Polish racing fans.
was the 22nd Hungarian Grand Prix since it was started behind the Iron Curtain
by British racing impresario Bernie Ecclestone in the 1980s.
board’s strategy to have Hungarians holiday at home appears to be paying off –
with a little help from the weather. From the over a million Hungarian families
taking a vacation this year between May and September, Magyar Hírlap reported
last week, the vast majority plan to stay at home. Lake Balaton, also known as
“Balcsi” is top of the destination list.
to figures released by the Ministry for Local Government and Regional
Development, of 1.2 million holiday trips (involving 2.78 million Hungarians)
already made or planned between May and September this year, 70% were made in
Hungary. Perhaps as result of the “Otthon itthon van!” (“Home is at home!”) campaign
run by Magyar Turizmus to encourage domestic tourism – but equally likely due
to the unexpectedly enduring run of Hugnarian weather that has outshone most of
Europe – 487,000 of these trips are to
Other popular Hungarian destinations include the Northern Great Plain (home to
Hungary’s second largest swimming pool, Lake Tisza) and the verdant hills of
Northern Hungary – both of these regions are expecting to have hosted 125,000
groups of Hungarian holidaymakers by the end of the summer.
contrast, the most popular foreign destination for Hungarian holiday trips,
can only expect to have put up 156,000 families and other groups this summer.
Interestingly, despite their relatively low numbers, Hungarians regularly top
the annual list for fatalities in
with the Czechs). This statistic was back in the news last week following the
drowning of a Hungarian woman in stormy waters last Monday brought this year’s
total so far to seven. "They go into the water inexperienced, unprepared,
or overheated, and a good number of them pay with their lives," a
representative of the Hungarian Embassy in
most popular destinations for Hungarian holiday trips this year are
border spend an average of just under ten days on holiday, while domestic
holidays tend to be shorter, with an average duration of five and a half days. (72,000). The total number of
Hungarians travelling abroad for a holiday this summer is expected to be around
380,000 – a mere four per cent of the population.