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The Europe-China Tourism Dialogue Ministerial Meeting and Conference, organised in the framework of Hungary’s EU presidency, has opened in Budapest. Addressing the event in the evening, Márton Nagy, the national economy minister, said that Hungary played a “special role” in ties between China and the EU thanks to efforts to advance its own relations with the Far East. He noted that improving EU competitiveness was a focus of Hungary’s EU presidency and that the tourism sector, of particular importance for the EU economy, generating 9% of GDP, was part of that endeavour. Nagy said projections pointed to a marked rise in the number of Chinese tourists arriving in Europe in the coming years. Thanks to the strengthening of Hungarian-Chinese ties, the number of guest nights spent by Chinese tourists in Hungary climbed over 300,000 last year, he added. He said that the return of Liszt Ferenc International Airport, the “country’s gateway”, to state ownership a few weeks earlier, would benefit Hungary’s tourism sector.