Attracting more hikers and tourists to Hungary’s Börzsöny mountain

The project has led to the creation of a well-serviced regional tourist and hiking network in the Börzsöny mountain. This has improved the attractiveness of the region for forest and hiking tourism originating from the Hungarian capital and its surrounding agglomeration.

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The new visitors’ centre at Kiralyret. ©Ipoly Erdő Inc/Ligeti Design (2018) The new visitors’ centre at Kiralyret. ©Ipoly Erdő Inc/Ligeti Design (2018)

" The Börzsöny region is becoming increasingly popular, also among foreigners, to live and to hike in. There are more and more ways to spend free time here due to the developments of the children’s railway, hiking trails, accommodation and cycling trails. These services are offered to visitors at reasonable prices. "

Bence Rétvári, Secretary of the Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) and Regional Member of Parliament

The Börzsöny mountain project has improved tourism services in Pest county, Hungary, by connecting existing tourist attractions in the mountain range into a regional network and by constructing new facilities at strategic points throughout the region.

Improving tourist infrastructure

Led by the Hungarian Ramble Association and a consortium of partners, the project selected the most popular tourist trail across Pest county as the foundation for its efforts. Marked with red posts, the trail has been filled with information and navigation boards to better guide tourists and hikers. With the help of EU funds, a new visitors’ and hiking centre has been constructed at Kiralyret, a small settlement on the outskirts of the village of Szokolya, at the base of the mountain. The village is considered a good starting point for many tourist and hiking trips into the mountain.

Since its official opening, the museum of the Kiralyret centre has attracted over 1 500 visitors over three months. The centre has a restaurant and gift shop, which have proven to be popular with day visitors and hikers. The opening of the centre has resulted in the creation of several temporary jobs.

As part of the project’s planning, an observation tower will be erected in the mountain range, offering a panoramic view of the area. A religious memorial and a children’s playground are being constructed.

Business opportunities for local owners

The project has brought together local service providers and farmers in an effort to make the region more attractive for tourists. Greater visitor numbers have resulted in more, and improved, hospitality services, due to healthy competition between hotels and restaurants. A commercial centre has been set up as a general distribution centre for products from local farmers and craftspeople, stimulating small businesses.

Börzsöny mountain is the most western range of the North Hungarian mountains. It is criss-crossed by popular hiking paths and home to the Duna-Ipoly National Park. The mountain’s highest peak, the Csóványos, offers an impressive panoramic view. Szokolya village offers easy access to hiking paths into the hills and roads to the popular skiing areas of the mountain. Nearly 500 000 people visit the adjacent settlement of Kiralyret annually, making it a regional tourist and hiker-hotspot.

The project was set up to respond to changing tourism needs. The existing tourist spots did not get enough attention because of a general lack of interconnection. The project has improved the region’s attractiveness and tourist offer, convincing people to spend more time and money and return in future.

 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Exploring by foot the attractions and tourism services of the Börzsöny mountain” is EUR 1 100 268, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 550 134 through the “Competitive Central-Hungary” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “SMEs competitiveness”.