Joining forces to increase tourism in Szeklerland

Representatives of travel associations/companies of three Transylvanian counties – Maros/Mures, Hargita/Harghita, and Kovászna/Covasna – have met with local authorities to discuss Wizz Air’s upcoming daily flights to Marosvásárhely. The aim of the discussions was to brainstorm about ways to place Szeklerland and its tourist attractions on the list of offerings of travel agencies working with visiting tourists.

The problem is that the number of travel agencies bringing tourists to Szeklerland is currently pretty low, Károly Szabo, the director of ADI Harghita, told TransylvaniaNOW. If a tourist landing in Bucharest wants to visit Transylvania, travel agencies currently suggest only a couple of tourist attractions in Szeklerland – primarily Bear Lake in Szováta/Sovata, Maros/Mures County, and the salt mine in Parajd/Praid in Hargita/Harghita County. But Szeklerland is much more than that, Szabó said. “The region has a lot to show, but these tourist attractions are missing from the offers of agencies working with incoming tourists. The discussion we participated in at the Transylvania Airport served to promote the key values of this wonderful region by harmonizing the efforts of all actors involved. These discussions must be done regularly because it’s the only way to organize and offer up Szeklerland as a tourist destination, that is, what appears in the catalogue of travel agencies,” Szabó said.

The meeting was organized by the Szeklerland Tourist Destination Management Cluster, who invited representatives of the Visit Maros, Visit Harghita, and Visit Covasna agencies along with Ferenc Péter, president of Maros County Council; László Fülöp, mayor of Szováta; and András Peti, director or the Transylvania Airport as well as representatives of all interested parties: bus companies, travel associations, airport transfer companies, and representatives of the hospitality industry.

During the event, Károly Szabó presented a four-day offer they call Fly and Drive. The concept – not yet a real offer in any travel agency’s catalogue – includes the key travel destinations of Hargita County for tourists looking to spend four days in Transylvania. “The opportunity is there; now the ball is in the court of the tourism industry players,” Szabó told TransylvaniaNOW.

In an effort to address the problem highlighted by Szabó, ADI Harghita is hosting a three-day info-tour between October 15 and 17 for representatives of travel agencies working with visiting tourists. During the three-day tour, which will be packed with tons of events, Szabó and his team will show the key travel destination of Harghita County and invite travel agencies to put this region on their offers. Also, at the initiative of the Visit Maros association, they will participate in a Road Show in Budapest with the Visit Covasna team. The team is looking to show off Transylvania’s travel destinations to travel agencies from abroad in order to increase tourism in the region.

As we previously reported, Wizz Air has announced daily flights between Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș and Budapest starting October 27, a major improvement to the two currently available flights per week between the two European cities.

Title image: Meeting at the International Transylvania Airport. Photo: Ferenc Péter’s Facebook page

Author: István Fekete