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«The conurbation around the capital located on both sides of the middle section of the Danube is a metropolitan area of international importance while ...»

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• Absence of the national representation of local interests, less civil control;

• Absence of co-ordinated, destination-oriented tourism development Conflict areas Tourism – environment Out of all human activities, it is tourism that applies the strictest requirements toward the status of environment. However, different sorts of tourism have different criteria ranging from the highest 19 standards of health and eco-tourism to most moderate demands of culturally driven city visits. Conflict areas were identified having regard to the following elements: visual pollutions, environmental pressures and environmental threats, as well as environmentally sensitive areas that limit traffic.

In the Hungarian section of the Danube significant anthropogenic

effects are typical:

• On the bank of the Danube, in the region of Komárom, Esztergom, Vác, Budapest, Budaörs and Dunaújváros it is the uninterrupted row of industrial plants, whereas in the Esztergom and Szentendre sub-regions, it is the abandoned mine-fields that restrict tourism with their visual pollution.

• Further growth of traffic may cause further air pollution problems to areas that are already burdened with busy road traffic, polluting factories and the concentration of city traffic.

• The waste water problems in Esztergom, Budapest and Dunaújváros, as well as the lack of sewers in the Szob and Vác sub-regions limits the recreational utilization of surface waters and the long term protection of underground water bases.

• Another environmental threat in lower level areas (the Győr and Komárom sub-regions; Szentendre Island; Római Bank, Dockyard Island and Margaret Island in Budapest, the Ráckeve sub-region and parts of the Ercsi and Adony sub-regions) is the possibility of flood. Although the configuration of the flood prevention works is adequate in general and missing sections are to be developed in the near future, climate change may cause unexpected, and in many cases unpreventable flood events. Therefore, development projects for these areas must always take into consideration existing environmental risk. At high banks – in the Danube Bend and on the right side bank – potential slide of the river walls limit a riverside building opportunities.

• The water bases and water quality protection areas in the Danube Bend and under Budapest present further obstacles to tourism-related developments just like the large, environmentally 20 sensitive areas in the Gerecse Mountains and in the Danube Bend that limit the capacity of the region.

The areas south of Dunaújváros are primarily defined by natural

factors:

• Apart from air pollution in Baja and Szekszárd, it is the low penetration of sewers that present the highest environmental risk.

• The risk of flood is high in low level areas, although the configuration of flood prevention works is adequate in the region.

Still, the trend of increasingly higher flood waves presents a threat.

There are unsafe sections in high banks, too.

• The southern section of the Danube consists mostly of environmentally sensitive areas. The main risk factor is water bases and water quality protection areas but there are also substantial stretches of environmentally sensitive areas in the region.

Tourism – human resources

Social barriers are primarily represented by a relatively low level of entrepreneurial activity and low participation in tenders. This is partly explained by demographic reasons as well as by a certain degree of economic instability (outward migration, ageing and a shortage of own resources). In view of these factors the following 21 description applies to the area.

In areas of low economic activity there are only a few businesses offering catering and accommodation that have the necessary human resources to provide an adequate level of service to visitors. In addition to meeting the criteria for launching a new business, those who are active in the tourism sector should also be well prepared, well informed and should possess the necessary professional knowledge and communication skills.

The combined presence of these three factors is most characteristic of communities in Baranya county. Some parts of Tolna and Bács-Kiskun counties are also problematic as regards the level of entrepreneurial activity. In other counties there are sporadic indications of low entrepreneurial potential, mainly on the peripheries.

Closeness to nature, traditional, healthy lifestyle and environment, and the joint potential of artisanry, craftsmanship and gastronomic services are important advantages of rural areas, and are increasingly sought after in domestic tourism as well as tourism in general. The demand and capacity for new business start-ups and participation in tenders building on these advantages must be promoted within the region.

Tourism – infrastructure

Expectations of tourists with regard to the accessibility of

destinations can be rather differentiated and even contradicting:

on one hand – especially for short trips – there is a requirement for reaching the destination with no time-loss, while travel time is relatively indifferent in the case of longer holidays, and on the other hand, in many cases there is also a preference for areas closed off from traffic. The offer of other institutions destined to serve visitors match the local level of development. The following section gives a territorial description.

Tourism-related infrastructure is not satisfactory in areas where

22 accommodation capacities are low and there are only a few catering and retail facilities. Access to an acceptable range of such services of an adequate standard is an essential prerequisite of tourism development, especially for the utilisation of attractions offered by nature, culture and the built environment and for turning the given region into a well-managed destination. The Danube area has diverse tourist attractions, the most important of these being the natural assets linked to the still existing oxbows and other riparian sites, the rich cultural heritage, built environment and event calendar, as well as traditional local products and folklore. There is strong demand for infrastructural development and marketing management in areas that are rich in tourist attractions. In order to be able to launch capital-intensive investments in these areas, the operative burdens of small enterprises would have to be eased in addition to intensifying tendering activity and strengthening cooperation. The supply in accommodation services is weakest in the communities along the middle and lower stretches of the Danube, while catering and retail services are missing mostly in communities lying farther from the banks of the Danube. The most striking areas of conflict are certain areas along the Danube River that are rich in attractions, but lack tourism infrastructure, namely the area around the Danube Bend – excluding big towns

- and small communities of the Upper Danube section, and the communities situated on the wide stretches of the sparsely populated Middle and Lower Danube section.

Copyright © 2010 VÁTI Hungarian Nonprofit Limited Liability Company for Territorial Development and Town Planning, Budapest.

23

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