The leaders of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) expressed “maximum satisfaction” with the 2017 World Aquatics Championships held in Budapest and Balatonfüred in the second half of July.
FINA President Julio Maglione said the “best ever” championships in the federation’s history had contributed a great deal to the development of aquatics sports. He acknowledged Hungary’s central and local governments, the organisers, and thousands of volunteers for their contributions. “Your support, enthusiasm and professionalism have made it possible for this to be the best world championships in the Federation’s history. I congratulate you!” he said at the closing gala in Budapest’s Papp László Arena.
National Development Minister Miklós Seszták, the head of the organising committee, said the last 17 days had been about “unity, mutual respect and celebrating sports”. He expressed his gratitude to FINA, the championships’ organisers, and volunteers who helped out during the event, without whom, he said, Hungary could not have successfully organised the event. At the closing ceremony, the FINA flag was handed over to the mayor of the South Korean city of Gwangju, which will host the next world championships in 2019.
Around 485,000 spectators viewed sports events at five locations in Budapest and Balatonfüred as part of the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which ended on Sunday, the national development minister said. The fan zones at Margaret Island and the Duna Arena had more than 400,000 visitors.
Citing a survey carried out by the Hungarian Tourism Agency, Seszták said hotels in Budapest during the two weeks of the world championships had occupancy rates over 90%, and that average room prices were up by 200%. According to the survey, 66% of foreign visitors plan to return to Hungary.
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photos: MTI.hu; vizesvb2017.24.hu; 24.hu