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The coronavirus epidemic has brought great hardship for the 400,000-500,000 Hungarians working in the tourism sector, Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi said, and called on the government to do more to support the sector. Ujhelyi, a deputy head of the European Parliament’s committee on transport and tourism, said the second wave of the epidemic boded “a dire autumn and a hopeless winter” for those in the industry, leaving it virtually without revenue for the entire year.
Referring to a demonstration of the sector’s workers on Friday in Budapest, Ujhelyi said the tourism sector had never before turned to the government asking to shield it from collapse. He pledged his support to the demonstrators and called on the government to “listen to the comments of the professionals speaking there”. Ujhelyi called on the government and the EU to provide immediate aid to the sector, and for a permanent European tourism fund as well as a common European protocol regarding border closures and testing. The government has sufficient EU funds to pay salary supplements to the sector’s employees next year, Ujhelyi said.