Why Hungary needs F1 racing

THE latest tourism figures from Hungary reveal that the Grand Prix in Budapest is becoming more important than ever. In the first quarter of the year tourist numbers fell seven percent to 7.8m and the occupancy rate of hotels tumbled to just 37% (45% in Budapest). This meant that revenues fell 17% to $676.4 million.

The report concluded that Budapest is fortunate to be able to count on the revenues brought in by the Grand Prix in August. All hotels within 60 miles of Budapest are booked and most are charging four times the regular rate for rooms. Restaurants, bars and transport organizations are all looking forward to the influx of visitors, not to mention to traffic cops who have a habit of hitting the Western visitors for speeding fines (whether they are valid or not).

These figures may help to explain the Hungarian government's desire to keep the race going as long as possible.

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