Between 21.-24. February the three Székely counties (Kovászna/Covasna, Hargita/Harghita and Maros/Mureș) popularized together – with joint Székelyland booths – their historical region at the same time both in the Hungarian and the Romanian capital, at the 42. Travel Expo in Budapest and at the Romanian Tourism Fair (TTR) in Bucharest.
Given that the most important event for the tourism of Székelyland this year will be the Papal Visit, the President of the Hargita County Council, Csaba Borboly said: “We are preparing for the biggest “kaláka” (voluntary co-operative work) of Székelyland, which is the organization of Pope Francis’ visit to Csíksomlyó/Șumuleu Ciuc. International attention will turn to the region, which gives us a perfect opportunity to show the world who we are, but we also have to host the pilgrims properly.”
No doubt that the real star of the 30m2 Székelyland booth in Budapest – at the most important tourism exhibition of Hungary – was the lifelike bear, inviting visitors to some bear observation tours to the bear hides. Most people were looking for accommodation for the Pentecost Pilgrimage or the Papal Visit at Csíksomlyó, but the touristic maps and applications were also popular. Lots of enquirers from Hungary have already visited some parts of Székelyland before, or have some family relationships to the region and they are visiting it more often because of this. In the case of program possibilities the biggest interest was about the “esztena” visits (sheepfold visits), the bear hides, the chariot tours, the hiking and the winter sports possibilities. But many people were looking for small, outlying villages where – instead of hotels – they can stay at traditional Székely or Csángó houses where they can eat together with their hosts while listening their stories.
At the Romanian Tourism Fair in Bucharest the people were mostly interested about the Easter offers, child-friendly accommodations, teambuilding activities and accommodations accepting holiday vouchers.
“Seeing that more and more people are downloading and using our Visit Covasna application was a really pleasant experience for us”, said the president of the Kovászna County Council, Róbert Grüman. Hargita county’s representatives – besides introducing also their new Visit Harghita app and website – popularized the Early Music Festival of Csíkszereda and the Crazy Olympics in Hargitafürdő/Harghita-Băi. The third Székely county, Maros, besides the program and accommodation offers, mainly focused on its brand new Transylvania Motor Ring. “This sport complex, which opened last September, is the biggest motor ring of Romania, and so we wanted to introduce it to as many people as possible”, said the manager of Visit Mureș Association, Levente Zsolt Szőcs.
Title image: The star of the Székelyland booth, the lifelike bear at the 42. Travel Expo in Budapest. (Photo: Hargita County Council Facebook)