The world’s leading quality airline alliance, oneworld, threw its weight behind a campaign to attract thousands of additional visitors to Budapest this winter.
The „Budapest Winter Invasion“, which runs from 1 December 2007 to 31 March 2008, is being co-ordinated by the Hungarian National Tourist Office (HNTO) with the alliance’s latest recruit Malév Hungarian Airlines, plus the Hotel Association of Hungary and Budapest Airport.
More than 50 of the Hungarian capital’s hotels are participating, along with the Municipality of Budapest and a range of other service providers, such as car rental company Hertz.
The overall aim is to boost the number of tourists travelling to the city by 20,000 this coming winter and increasing nights spent there by visitors by some 80,000.
Participating hotels will offer travelers one additional night’s stay free as a gift for every three they book, enabling guests more fully to enjoy what Budapest has to offer.
Malév will support this with special fares making a trip to Budapest even more accessible than ever.
Budapest Airport is backing the campaign aiming to strengthen Hungary’s tourism with premium advertisements within the terminal buildings, on its website and through a wide range of other communication channels.
The promotion is being supported by its own website – budapestwinterinvasion.com, available in English, French, German and Italian. The website provides details of and links to all participants and features a calendar detailing all events taking place in the city during the winter.
The campaign was launched today – Hungary’s National Day – at an international press conference on the Danube hosted by:
* Deputy Mayor of Budapest Imre Ikvai-Szabó
* Hungarian National Tourist Office President Ákos Niklai
* Malév Chief Executive Lloyd Paxton
* oneworld Vice-President Commercial Nicolas Ferri
* Budapest Airport Deputy Chief Executive Dimitrios Gatsonis.
Journalists attending included more than 50 flown to the city from more than 15 countries for a weekend hosted by the organisers of Budapest Winter Invasion.
All ten oneworld member airlines – which include some of the industry’s biggest and best – will be promoting the Budapest Winter Invasion in their in-flight magazines and entertainment programmes, on their websites and in mailings to their customers.
Malév Chief Execuive Lloyd Paxton said: „Having our oneworld partners join with us in this year’s Budapest Winter Invasion is a classic example of how Malév and Hungary are benefiting from our membership of the alliance. Their involvement enables us to promote this key inbound tourism programme much further around the world than could have been dreamed of before we joined the alliance.“
oneworld Vice-President Commercial Nicolas Ferri added: „Promoting travel to the new oneworld hub of Budapest is a great way for all the alliance’s member airlines to highlight the recent addition to our grouping of Malév. We are delighted to be working with the carrier itself and the various tourism associations involved towards making the coming winter the city’s best yet for inbound travel.“
Budapest Airport Deputy Chief Executive Dimitrios Gatsonis said: „Budapest Airport is delighted to be one of the key participants of Budapest Winter Invasion. This shows how airports can actively take part in the tourism and travel industry, because it is evident that our fortunes are inseparable. With our involvement and our adveristements the campaign will reach every traveller using the aviation gateway to Hungary. They will bring and spread the word of Budapest Winter Invasion as well as their Hungarian travel experiences all over the world.“
Hungarian National Tourist Office President Ákos Niklai added: „Close cooperation with travel trade professionals and strategic partners will continue to be the guiding principle of the work of the HNTO in 2007. Joint marketing actions and campaigns are much more effective due to the availability of resources and the possibility to present specific offers. HNTO has volunteered to coordinate and to play an active role in promoting the BWI campaign. HNTO is also one of the co-financiers of the programme and will contribute the same amount to the campaign funds as that raised by the cooperating partners.“
Deputy Mayor of Budapest Imre Ikvai-Szabó said: „We are launching the second Budapest Winter Invasion campaign at a very symbolic place, on one of the busiest boulevards in Europe, the Danube, which we hope will flow through one of the busiest capital cities this winter. Our role, in City
Hall, is, among others, the protection of our national monuments and the historical cityscape, the development of our visitor attractions and the continuous improvement of infrastructure. This year I am delighted that our initiative, the Budapest Spring Festival, will be a leading partner of the Budapest Winter Invasion. This is Budapest’s biggest cultural happening, taking place in March and offering more than 200 events in 60 venues. All this goes to prove that Budapest is not only the most exciting, but also the most relaxing citiy in Central Europe.“
Budapest is one of the world’s most beautiful capitals, with its unique atmosphere and its delightful panorama from the two banks of the Danube, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city is historical, romantic and modern, all in one. Hungary’s diverse history with many foreign peoples having spent time in the territory gives Budapest a special feel.
Guests have the opportunity to visit the Roman city of Aquincum, to relax in a Turkish bath, to admire Hapsburg era architecture or to discover huge statues of the Soviet times all within the city limits.
Budapest is unique in the world in respect to the natural springs that can be found all over the city. Tere are more than one hundred thermal springs and the baths built upon them offer marvelous health and wellness programmes.
As with every great city there are interesting museums, art galleries, churches, monuments, parks, concert venues, restaurants, bars and cafés all easily accessible in this dynamic metropolis.
Participants in the Budapest Winter Invasion include: Budapest Airport, Hungarian National Tourist Office, Municipality of Budapest, Budapest Spring Festival, Malév Hungarian Airlines with oneworld, Hotel Association of Hungary
The following hotels and organisations are also participating: Accor Hotels Group, Danubius Hotel Group, Andrássy Hotel, Budapest Marriott Hotel, Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, Corinthia Aquincum Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Hilton Budapest, Hilton Budapest Westend, Kempinski Hotel, Corvinus Budapest, Le Meridien, Sofitel Budapest, Boutique Hotel Zara, K+K Hotel Opera, NH Budapest Hotel, Ramada Budapest, Domina Inn Fiesta, Átrium Hotel, Atlas Hotel, Baross Hotel, Boulevard City Panzió, City Hotel Mátyás, City Hotel Pilvax, City Hotel Ring, Fortuna Hotel, Gerand Hotel Ében, Gold Hotel, Hotel Anna, Hotel Charles, Hotel Délibáb, Hotel Wien, Hunguest Hotel Platánus, King’s Hotel, Marco Polo Hostel, Radio Inn, Star Hotel, Eurama Travel Agency, Hertz Rent a Car, House of Hungarian Wines, Dance of the Vampires Production, STH Special Tours
oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Qantas and, since 1 April, Japan Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian, plus some 20 affiliates. Dragonair will join as an affiliate later in 2007.
Their addition has expanded oneworld substantially, to:
* Almost 700 airports, around a hundred more than before, in nearly 150 countries.
* Nearly 500 airport lounges for premium customers, 100 more than before.
* More than 9,000 daily departures, a thousand more than before.
* More than 320 million passengers, 60 million more than before.
* 260,000 employees.
* Almost 2,500 aircraft.
* More than US$90 billion annual revenues, up by a third.
The alliance enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.
oneworld is the only airline alliance with a truly global network, as the only grouping with any member airlines in the Americas south of Mexico, in the Middle East and in Australia.
It is also the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets.
oneworld was voted the World’s Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.
It is also the alliance whose members collectively have the best financial track record.
Besides Malév, three other oneworld members serve Budapest – British Airways, Finnair and Royal Jordanian. Between them, they link the city non-stop with some 60 destinations worldwide, with seamless connections to the other 650 destinations served by the alliance around the world.