River cruises return to Budapest after COVID-19 induced hiatus

2021-06-25 22:05:35 GMT2021-06-26 06:05:35(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BUDAPEST, June 25 (Xinhua) -- After a long pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the first large river cruise ships returned to Budapest, government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkiralyi said here on Friday.

"Hungary's borders with the neighboring countries were reopened on Thursday and the first two cruise ships have already arrived in Hungary," Szentkiralyi said in a video message posted on social media. She said that further arrivals are expected soon.

Budapest could not welcome river cruises since last September.

"As well as the ships, tourists have also been missing, creating a difficult situation for those working in the tourism sector," she said.

"Thanks to the vaccinations, we have overcome the third wave of the epidemic one and a half months ahead of other European countries," she said. "Thus we have been able to relaunch life much earlier, including the economy, which also relies on tourism."

The two large cruise ships have brought over 300 tourists to the Hungarian capital, and hundreds more are expected to arrive in the coming days.

Although some believe that tourist traffic in Budapest may recover next spring at the earliest, industry insiders feel that the pace of the recovery of tourism will greatly depend on when and how the European Union allows tourists from outside the bloc to enter. Enditem